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The Unit of the Minorities is an Arabic-speaking unit of the Israel Defense Forces founded during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The Minorities Unit is currently believed to be of brigade strength and is considered an elite, professional organization.

The unit was formed in the early summer of 1948 by incorporating a unit of Druze defectors from the Arab Liberation Army and small numbers of Bedouin. The unit was attached to the Oded Brigade and fought in Operation Hiram in October 1948. It has fought in every war since.

Most members of the unit, including officers, are believed to be Druzes. Other members include Bedouin and Circassion soldiers and some Christian Arabs. The unit has produced several generals.

The Minorities Unit has a small, elite Sayeret special forces branch.

References

  • Parsons, Laila (2001). The Druze and the birth of Israel. In Eugene L. Rogan and Avi Shalim (Eds.). The War for Palestine (pp. 60-78). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-79476-5

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