||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (February 2012)|
Mista'arvim (Hebrew: מסתערבים, lit. Arabized; Arabic: مستعربين, Musta'arabin), also spelled as mistaravim, is the name given to those counter-terrorism units of the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Border Police in which officers are specifically trained to disguise themselves as Arabs in order to kill or capture a wanted terrorist. These are also commonly known as the 'Arab Platoons'. In Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Acts of War, it is stated that Mista'arvim do not allow their real identities to become known to people outside their unit, and that even when they are undercover, they go to great lengths to avoid being recorded. They are also said to be trained in counter-detection of human or mechanical surveillance.
Training for these units is about fifteen months:
- Four months basic infantry training in the Mitkan Adam army base – the IDF Special Training Center.
- Two and a half months of advanced infantry training in the same base.
- Two months of the unit's basic training, which focus on advanced urban navigation exercises and the beginning of counter-terrorism training.
- Four months Mista'arvim course, which covers everything from learning Arab traditions, language and way of thought to civilian camouflage (hair dying, contact lenses, Arab clothing).
- One-month courses – sniper, driving and different instructors courses.
- Shimshon (Unit 367), which operated in the Gaza Strip. It was disbanded in 1994 after the Oslo peace talks.
- Duvdevan (Unit 217), which operates in The West Bank.
- Yamas from the Israel Border Police.
- Masada – an elite unit of the Israeli Prison Service which specializes in these kinds of operations, among others.
- The Arab Department – a unit of the Palmach, whose soldiers carried out such activities.
- Sayeret Shaked – an elite unit of the IDF, which also operated undercover in the Gaza Strip in the 70's.
- Hermesh unit – a unit of undercover and varied initiated activity, which operated in Judea and Sameria until 1994. The unit was then transferred to the Kfir Brigade.