|Size||classified (estimated 150)|
|Motto(s)||(Hebrew: כִּי בְתַחְבֻּלוֹת, תַּעֲשֶׂה-לְּךָ מִלְחָמָה.) "For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war" (Proverbs 24:6).|
|Colors||Red and white|
Unit 217, frequently called Duvdevan (Hebrew: דובדבן; lit. cherry) is an elite special operations force within the Israel Defense Forces, part of the Commando Brigade. Duvdevan are noted for undercover operations in urban areas, during which they often wear Arab civilian clothes as a disguise. They are also known to be trained in human and mechanical counter-surveillance. Along with Sayeret Matkal, soldiers in Duvdevan are the only soldiers in the IDF authorized to wear their uniforms without identifying shoulder tabs.
The unit prides itself on being the spearhead of Israeli counter terror operations. In 2002 the unit was described as such by the Prime-Minister for having the most significant effect on the war on terror. The Duvdevan unit is regarded as one of the world's most successful counter-terror units.
Organization and mission
The unit is actually recognized with only a unit identity number and Duvdevan is simply the nickname given to the unit. In the unit's 20-year history it has stood above and beyond the traditional special units of the IDF and was thus nicknamed "Duvdevan", or "cherry" in English, in reference to a fruit that sits at the top of a tree. The unit is unique in several ways: it is the only IDF unit (not including police units) that has no wartime mission, just day-to-day hit and run operations. The unit, unlike other SF units, can operate in more than one place at once, and can operate independently. The unit can perform high-risk arrests, raids, targeted killing, kidnappings, and a range of other urban warfare operations.
The unit is part of the "Oz" 89th Commando Brigade, a brigade dedicated solely to special operations. Only Duvdevan and Sayeret Matkal are authorized to wear their uniforms without identifying shoulder tabs. The unit is most similar to the Yamam and Yamas police units.
- Jericho 941 semi-automatic pistol 
- M89SR sniper rifle
- M24 Sniper Weapon System – sniper system
- M4 carbine with 10" barrel
- Remington 870 combat shotgun
- Para Micro-Uzi submachine gun 
- IMI Negev machine gun
- Shipon multi-purpose rocket-launcher
- Mk 47 Striker automatic grenade launcher
- Glock 17/19C
- combat knife
- Steve Macko, The IDF Duvedevan Unit Archived 2007-11-25 at the Wayback Machine., Emergency Response & Research Institute (August 11, 1997)
- Craven, Nick (October 19, 2000). "Squad That Strikes from the Shadows". Daily Mail – via HighBeam Research (subscription required).
- Lewis, Jack (28 February 2011). "Israel's Guns Against Terrorism". Assault Weapons. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 21. ISBN 1-4402-2629-6.
- Cohen, Aaron; Century, Douglas (2008). Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in One of the World's Most Elite Counterterrorism Units. New York: Ecco, Harper Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-123615-0.