Givati brigade

  • Issue: April 2007
  • Designer: Miri Nistor
  • Stamp Size: 30.8 mm x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 677 (1 phosphor bar)
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: offset

The Givati Brigade was formed on November 30, 1947, a day after the UN decision to establish a Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael, and on the same day that Arab attacks on the Jewish population began. The Brigade was made up of four Haganah field regiments: three of them -Regiments 51, 53 and 54, comprised of Tel Avivians, and one - Regiment 52, of moshav settlers from the south. At a later stage, two other regiments were established and added -Regiments 55 and 152. The Brigade acquired its name from its first commander, Shimon Avidan, whose underground code name was Givati.

During the four months until March 1948, the tasks of the young, inexperienced brigade were limited to defending the Tel Aviv area, accompanying supply convoys to isolated settlements in the southern area, and retaliations against attacks from Arab villages. The turning point came in April 1948 with the implementation of "Plan D" aimed at creating a contiguous territorial link with the isolated settlements. The Givati Brigade took part in Operation Nahshon for control of the road to Jerusalem; Operation Hametz to take control of Jaffa and the villages in the vicinity of Tel Aviv, and Operation Barak to take control of the Arab villages between Rehovot and Beer Tuvya.

On May 14, 1948, the establishment of the State of Israel was announced. The next day, May 15th, the Arab armies invaded the territory of the newborn state. The Givati Brigade, charged with repulsing  the Egyptian forces who were advancing northward along the coastal road, succeeded, with heavy casualties, in stopping the enemy and stabilizing a defense line in the Ashdod area. In battles waged over a ten-day period (July 8-18, 1948), the Brigade completed its blocking operation and began a counterattack against the Egyptian forces, taking control of the Egyptian-held outposts around Kibbutz Negba. In Operation Yo'av, mounted in October 1948, the Brigade succeeded in taking control of the fortifications at the key crossroads in the area (today, the Givati Junction) and at Huleiqat, breaking through to the stranded settlements in the Negev and forcing the Egyptians to pull back from Ashdod to the Gaza Strip.

Early in 1949, the Givati Brigade left the southern front and redeployed in the Sharon area. At the war's end, the Brigade was tasked with ongoing security activity until it was disbanded in 1955 and reorganized as a reserve brigade. In 1984, in the wake of the Lebanese War, a new regular infantry brigade was formed in the Israel Defense Forces and was given the historic name of the Givati Brigade.

The Memorial Site

The main Givati Brigade memorial site was established in 1990 in the British Taggart-type police station that had served as an Egyptian fortification in 1948, the scene of many Givati casualties during attempts to capture it. The building, renamed the Yo'av Fortress, houses a museum showing the history of the Givati Brigade and a wall inscribed with the names of the fallen Givati soldiers over time. A pyramid-shaped monument outside the building symbolizes the strength and determination of the Brigade soldiers. Inside, it displays the flags and insignia of all the regiments from 1948 to the present, while the outside is decorated with the historic as well as new Givati Brigade insignia.

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The Memorial Site for the Fallen Soldiers of the Givati brigade