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Paratroopers Brigade
Tag shfifonN.jpg
Paratroopers Brigade Insignia
Active 1955
Country Israel
Branch Army
Type Paratrooper
Role Infantry
Size 4 Battalions
Part of 98th Paratroopers Division (IDF) (Reserve),
Infantry Corps
Motto "Initiate, Lead, Make an Example and Win"
Colors Maroon beret, Red & White Flag
Mascot Snake
Engagements Operation Entebbe, Mitla Pass, Jerusalem, Second Lebanon War, Operation Cast Lead
Colonel Herzl Halevi
Ariel Sharon, Rafael Eitan, Moshe Ya'alon

The Paratroopers Brigade (Hebrew: חֲטִיבַת הַצַּנְחָנִים‎, Hativat HaTzanhanim), also known as the 35th Brigade, is a unit of paratroopers within the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and forms a major part of the Infantry Corps. It has a history of carrying out special forces-style missions dating back to the 1950s. It is currently involved primarily in counter terror operations within the West Bank.

Serving in the brigade is voluntary and requires passing different arduous physical and mental tests. The IDF has three reservist Paratrooper brigades at any given time, consisting of personnel who served their mandatory service in the brigade, and whom are mostly in their twenties (aside from officers). These are most likely the most highly-trained reservist brigades in the IDF.



The brigade was created at the mid 1950's when the commando Unit 101 was merged with Battalion 890 (the IDF's Airborne Commando unit) in order to form an elite infantry brigade. The new unit was equipped with the IMI Uzi submachine gun as their primary weapon as it provided light and small automatic fire - essential properties for recon units and commandos.

The goals in creating the Paratroopers Brigade were:

  1. To have an elite infantry force.
  2. To innovate and improve fighting skills within other infantry units.
  3. To raise the next generation of military commanders and officers.

The first commander of the Paratroopers Brigade was Ariel Sharon.

The Paratroopers Brigade has had only one operational combat parachute drop, during the 1956 Sinai War. In the Six Day War (1967) the Paratroopers Brigade took part in the capturing of Jerusalem together with the Jerusalem Brigade, Harel Brigade and armor support. The Paratroopers were the ones to capture the Western Wall and the Temple Mount - a moment that is considered as "historic" and the "highlight of this war" by the majority of the Israeli public, mainly due to the sacredness of these places to the Jewish people.

In the following years, the brigade was the source for many Israeli Chiefs of Staff, including Shaul Mofaz and Moshe Ya'alon.

Structure and Insignia

The 35th (Paratrooper) Brigade consists of three regular battalions, each carrying the name of a venomous snake. The 101st commemorates Unit 101 and is the Brigade's 1st Battalion. The 202nd is the Brigade's 2nd Battalion and was numbered to keep it in line with the 101st. The 890th kept its original unit numbering but is the Brigade's 3rd Battalion. A Yahsar ("Special Troops Battalion") designated Yahsar Tzanchanim ("Airborne Special Troops Battalion") is under the direct command of the brigade headquarters.

Soldiers of the Paratroopers Brigade are distinguished by their maroon beret, paratrooper wings, reddish-brown leather boots and the paratroopers tunic (Yerkit), which is slightly different from the regular ground forces service dress.



Brigade Structure

(Paratrooper units are named after snakes.)

  • 101st "Cobra" Airborne Battalion
  • 202nd "Viper" Airborne Battalion
  • 890th "Echis" Airborne Battalion
  • "Flying Serpent" Special Troops Battalion
    • "Naja" Anti-Tank Company
    • "Coluber" Engineer Company
    • 5173rd "Taipan" Reconnaissance Company
  • "Eryx" Signal Company

See also

External links


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