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Formed in 1986, Duvdevan ("Cherry" in Hebrew) is an IDF SF unit designed for undercover deployment in the Territories. Unlike other undercover units, Duvdevan's role is not long term infiltration, but rather quick hit and run raids. Duvdevan is also unique as it is one of handful IDF units, which specialized in counterterrorism. In 2015 Duvdevan was reassigned under the IDF Commando Brigade.

To date, four members of Duvdevan were killed in two separated friendly fire incidents. One operator was killed in 1992, while three others were killed in August 2000, in a failed operation to capture the number one terrorist in the Territories at the time - Machmoud Abu Hanud.

Duvdevan is one of the IDF busiest SF units, and conducts hundreds of operations per year. Operations can be uniformed, plain cloths or both, often with different teams operate simultaneously in different areas. The unit celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016.


The unit's training regime is 15 months long and is comprised of the following:

  • Four months basic infantry training

  • Two and a half months of advanced infantry training

  • Two months unit's basic training, which focus on advance urban navigation and foundational CT training.

  • Five weeks CT course in IDF Counter Terror School.

  • One month advanced inner-unit CT training with the unit's own instructors.

  • Four months Mistaravim course, at the unit's own Undercover School, which covers Arabic traditions, language and civilian disguise (hair dying, contact lenses, clothing).

  • One-month specialized courses such as sniping, driving and different instructors courses.

  • The rest of the time is devoted to advanced urban combat techniques and urban navigation.

  • Due to the unit's daily interactions with civilians, the unit heavily focuses on Krav Maga during training, allowing it to minimize the use of deadly force on standby civilians who often get involved.


The unit selection process comprised of two phases: a Tzanhanim  infantry brigade Gibush held prior the soldier's recruitment to the IDF and a Duvdevan Gibush held shortly after the soldier's recruitment to the IDF.

Duvdevan Guide