Kfir brigade, hitherto dedicated to “policing” areas of high friction between Jews and Arabs and border defense duties around the Gaza Strip, to become an elite infantry unit
It was announced today that the Chief of the General Staff of the IDF Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi had decided that Kfir, the Israeli Army’s largest infantry brigade, will receive a new mission. Currently, Kfir brigade comprises of five battalions, among them the ultra-Orthodox “Netzach Yehuda” (Judah Forever), battalion. These battalions are supported by elements from the armored corps as well as elite K-9 and anti-terrorism units. The brigade’s role is to provide security in areas where Israeli Jewish population comes into close contact with Palestinian Arabs, primarily in Judea and Samaria and along the Gaza border.
Just yesterday, a unit of the Kfir brigade engaged and eliminated three terrorists who penetrated several hundred yards into Israeli territory from the Gaza strip and proceeded to throw hand grenades at the Israeli troops.
According to Lt. Gen. Kochavi’s orders, four out five Kfir battalions as well as its special designation and armored support units will undergo a change in designation from providing security in areas with large civilian populations to maneuvering inside enemy territory. In other words, Kfir will join Giv’ati, Golani, the Paratroopers, and Nachal brigades as an elite infantry brigade whose mission will be taking the fight to enemy territory while engaging and destroying enemy forces.
This means that the four battalions that will remain with the brigade will undergo significant upgrades in both equipment and training.
Asked whether the battalion that will be jettisoned from the brigade to remain in Judea and Samaria will be the Netzach Yehuda battalion, Lt. Gen. Kochavi was adamant that no decision has yet been made, but considering the unique nature of the ultra-religious battalion, which requires many special accommodations as well as the fact that most of its soldiers and officers reside in Judea and Samaria, this is very likely to be the case.