הצנזורה הצבאית אוסרת לפרסם: 1. צה”ל תקף מן הקרקע בלבנון מטרה של חיזבאללה 2. מפקד יחידת דובדבן הוא סא”ל דביר דיימונד
Israeli special forces invaded Lebanon earlier this month and attacked a high-value Hezbollah target. Bibi Netanyahu confirmed the attack. The Israeli TV news report says that the target of the attack was one that was “important to Nasrallah.” The IDF had released a statement that the attacks were on Hamas targets, in an attempt not to ratchet up tensions with Hezbollah. But Netanyahu, in his constant search for glory, violated the security plan and threw a match on the burning pyre:
“Look at what we’ve done recently. We hit the Iranians, we attacked Syria, we attacked Hezbollah and Hamas targets in Lebanon.
Netanyahu, ever the showman, who knows how to put on a good performance. What more theatrical a gesture than to announce a major military operation deep in enemy territory just as hundreds of thousands of enraged Israelis protest your government and seek to unseat you?
Hassan Nasrallah denied the attack, saying Israel attacked a “banana farm.” Netanyahu waited to speak of it till last week, in order to determine how or whether Hezbollah would respond.
This is the first known Israeli military ground operation on Lebanese soil in years. It marks a serious escalation in tension between Hezbollah and Israel. Israel routinely attacks Hezbollah and Syrian targets by air. A ground attack indicates a far more complex operation with a far more precise target that required boots on the ground. Whether it was a human target or an attack on infrastructure (Hezbollah is believed to have well over 100,000 missiles in its inventory) isn’t yet known.
The attack may also have been in retaliation for a March highway bombing in Megiddo which wounded an Israeli Palestinian driver. The attacker infiltrated from Lebanon and Israeli intelligence believes Hezbollah orchestrated it, with the possible involvement of a Palestinian resistance group. Though that group was not identified, it’s known that Hamas has sent its personnel to Lebanon for advanced training. In a tit-for-tat, Israeli seems to have retaliated by invading Lebanon just as the suspected attacker infiltrated Israel.
It also comes on the heels of reports that Hezbollah has now trained Hamas militants in Lebanon to fire missiles, and that they did so in response to Israeli mass violence against Al Aqsa worshippers during Ramadan. Israel undoubtedly viewed with great alarm the news that Hamas has possibly opened a second front in its confrontation with Israel. It would also note a rare meeting between Hamas chief, Ismail Haniye and Nasrallah in Lebanon.
This TV segment is the most explicit mention of the operation and its target in Israeli media. The military censor prohibits any media outlet to report details of it. This journalist somehow slipped under the censor’s radar.
Commander of secretive Israeli commando unit, Duvdevan, identified
At the annual Independence Day celebration, a series of distinguished Israelis light torches at a major ceremony. This year, one of the dignitaries is the commander of the infamous IDF Duvdevan unit. Though the identity of all senior officers is secret and their photos are blurred, I publish here his name and photograph. He is Lt. Col. Dvir Diamond, age 37. He is an Orthodox settler living in a colony near Ramallah. He studied at a religious settler pre-army school called Bnai David.
In an unprecedented development, veterans of the unit have protested to the minister running the ceremonies against the choice of Diamond. They claim the accounts he offered in his post combat debriefing of his heroism during Operation Protective Edge, were fabricated. They say he testified falsely of fighting for hours after shrapnel damaged his eye, along with his claim he was only being evacuated the next day after his troops were all safe. Instead, they claim the true hero was a different soldier who died during the battles. Honoring Diamond, they said, crossed a red line and was an offense to the memory of their comrade.
According to their complaint, Diamond is an ambitious officer eager to climb the military ladder; with commanders grooming him for higher duty. Nor is he above advancing false narratives to grease his way to promotions. For those who know how the IDF–an organization filled with favoritism and cronyism–works, nothing surprises.
Duvdevan is known for counter-terror operations. In other words, terrorizing the West Bank. It plays a key role in the daily invasions of Palestinian villages and homes. It “specializes” in targeted assassinations of Palestinian militants there.
It works closely with the Shin Bet, which is tasked with recruiting informants, who seek to learn about plans of militant groups and who leads them. It also uses such spies to locate and surveil the wanted Palestinian so that Duvdevan soldiers can carry out the murder.
The unit is known, and infamous for its mista’arvim, disguising soldiers as Palestinians so they can approach their victims stealthily and carry out their mission without being exposed. Mista’arvim also demoralize Palestinians because they force them to fear those who may be standing next to them in a crowd; or who may infiltrate their town.
The unit, its operations, and identities of its personnel are often shrouded in secrecy in order to enhance the effectiveness of its operations. The founder of Duvdevan was none other than former chief of staff Ehud Barak, who was himself partial to conducting mista’arvim missions. In the most famous (or infamous, if you are Palestinian), he disguised himself as a Lebanese woman using a wig and makeup, to conduct a mission which assassinated three senior PLO officials, as well as security guards and police officers.
The most disastrous mista’arvim operation occurred in Gaza, where a unit of the Sayeret Matkal infiltrated the enclave disguised as Palestinians. They established a fake organization to distribute wheelchairs to Palestinian children who’d been disabled in prior Israeli attacks. Oh, the cynicism of that strategem! This enabled them to travel throughout the territory as they installed sensitive listening devices designed to intercept Hamas communications. Eventually, they were stopped at a Hamas checkpoint. When questioned, their Arabic accent (not the Gaza dialect) aroused suspicion and a gunfight erupted in which the IDF commander was killed by friendly fire. The others in his unit barely managed to escape via helicopter which landed inside Gaza to extricate them.