Duvdevan Unit

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Unit 217
יחידה 217
Combat pin of Unit 217
Country Israel
Part of89th "Oz" Brigade
Nickname(s)Duvdevan (דובדבן‎)
Motto(s)כִּ֣י בְ֖תַחְבֻּלוֹת תַּעֲשֶׂה־לְּךָ֣ מִלְחָמָ֑ה
"For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war" (Proverbs 24:6)

Unit 217, frequently called Duvdevan (Hebrew: דובדבן, lit.'cherry'), is a mistaʽaravim unit in the Commando Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces.

It is notable for its undercover operations in urban areas, during which its operators often wear civilian clothing to disguise themselves among the local Arab populace.[1] The unit is also known to have highly trained members in both human and mechanical counter-surveillance. Unit 217 performs many high-risk and complicated operations, including targeted killings of militants and a range of other undercover operations in Arab regions, many of which are classified.[citation needed]


According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Unit 217[2] was established in June 1986 to deal with "security events" in the West Bank, especially in its densely populated civilian areas. During the 2015–2016 violence wave, the unit was involved in the arrests of the killers of Eitam and Naʽama Henkin, Hafna Meir, and rabbi Yaʽakov Littman (sometimes spelled Litman) and his son. For its work during this period, Unit 217 received the Israeli Chief of Staff citation.[3]

Roni Numa was a commander of the Duvdevan Unit before being promoted to aluf (major general).[4]

Upon joining the Commando Brigade, Unit 217 expanded its operational activities.[3]

Organization and mission

The unit is part of the "Oz" 89th Commando Brigade (a brigade dedicated solely to special operations), but Duvdevan operators undergo basic training in the Paratroopers Brigade. Unit 217 is most similar to the Yamas unit of the Israel Border Police.

In fiction

The Netflix television series Fauda focuses on a fictional Israeli elite unit modeled after Duvdevan.[5] The series was co-created by Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff; Raz formerly served in the unit.[5][6]



See also


  1. ^ Steve Macko, The IDF Duvedevan Unit Archived 2007-11-25 at the Wayback Machine, Emergency Response & Research Institute (August 11, 1997)
  2. ^ "יחידת דובדבן: כך מתקבלים ליחידת המסתערבים - חטיבת הקומנדו". אדרנלין כושר קרבי (in Hebrew). 12 May 2021. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Duvdevan Unit". idf.il. Israel Defense Forces. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  4. ^ Ronen Bergman, How the Pandemic Nearly Tore Israel Apart, New York Times Magazine (February 25, 2021).
  5. ^ a b Netanya Stein, Fauda: The true story behind the chaos, Jewish Unpacked (June 15, 2023).
  6. ^ David M. Halbfinger, 'Fauda,' an Israeli TV Hit, Lets Viewers Escape — Into the Conflict, New York Times (May 22, 2018).
  7. ^ a b c d e Lewis, Jack (28 February 2011). "Israel's Guns Against Terrorism". Assault Weapons. Iola, Wisconsin: Gun Digest Books. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-4402-2629-8.

Further reading

External links