Kfir Soldiers Earn Their Berets

Kfir soldiers are given their berets in the first ceremony of its kind in Afula, which has adopted the brigade.

Maayana Miskin , | updated: 21:32

Kfir soldier sworn in
Kfir soldier sworn in
Israel news photo: Flash 90
Trainee soldiers in the Kfir Brigade earned their berets on Thursday. A special ceremony was held for the 540 soldiers in Afula, which has adopted the brigade.

The ceremony was attended by Brigade Commander Colonel Oren Avman and by Afula Mayor Avi Elkabetz.

"For the past five years, [Kfir] brigade has been on the front lines of the war on terrorism, a war in which we changed the security situation here and brought quiet to Israel's cities,” said Avman. “In this war, we fought with determination, but with humanity.”

"You young soldiers are joining the camouflage family,” Avman said, referring to the camouflage-colored berets worn by Kfir soldiers. “It is a large and strong family, sworn to protect the state of Israel and its citizens, and it does so night and day.”

The Kfir Brigade is one of the IDF's most recent Infantry brigades. It is deployed in Judea and Samaria, and is tasked with counter-terrorist operations in those areas.

Kfir made the news in 2007 when 12 brigade members refused to expel Jews from a building in Hevron, and again in 2009 when soldiers waved a banner proclaiming “Kfir Brigade doesn't expel Jews.” Recently the brigade's former commander, Colonel Itai Virob, was put under investigation for saying that soldiers may use measures such as a slap or chokehold, to restrain terrorists who resist arrest or who it is feared are withholding information about the whereabouts of other terrorists who may be able to carry out the mission they were planning.

Afula has adopted the Kfir Brigade, and in 2008 built a memorial in the city for fallen Kfir soldiers.