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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Givati Infrantry Brigade

The Givati Infrantry Brigade operates mainly in the south of Israel and forms one of the major infantry corps in the Israel Defense Forces.

It also includes the Bedouin scouts battalion, in which soldiers from Israel's Bedouin minority serve as trackers. The scouts battalion has been awarded a recommendation of honor for its operations against weapons-smuggling tunnels.

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The Givati Brigade (Hebrew: חֲטִיבַת גִּבְעָתִי‎‎) functions as the amphibious force and is one of the infantry brigades in the Israel Defense Forces. Givati soldiers are designated by purple berets. The Brigade's symbol is the fox, alluding to Shualei Shimshon (שועלי שמשון, lit. Samson's Foxes), a unit in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

The Givati formed in December 1947 and placed under the command of Shimon Avidan. It was responsible for the central region in the beginning of the 1948 War of Independence, participating in Operation Hametz, Operation Barak and Operation Pleshet. As the war entered its second stage, Givati became the 5th Brigade, was moved to the south, and concentrated mainly around Gedera, Gan Yavne and Be'er Tuvia. One battalion fought on the Jerusalem front, including Operation Nachshon and the Battles of Latrun.

When Israel declared independence, Givati consisted of 5 battalions, with notable commanders such as Jehuda Wallach (51st Battalion), Ya'akov Perry (52nd Battalion), Yitzhak Pundak (53rd Battalion), Tzvi Tzur (54th Battalion) and Eitan Livni (57th Battalion). A sixth battalion (the 57th) was founded on May 30, 1948 from Irgun veterans, in preparation for Operation Pleshet. The brigade or parts thereof subsequently participated in the Battle of Nitzanim, Operation An-Far, Operation Yoav, etc. It was converted into a reserve brigade in 1956.