Israel's elite Commando Brigade gets religious Zionist commander

Changing of the guard at Israel's elite Commando Brigade as Samaria-native Colonel Avi Blut sworn in as commander.

Contact Editor
Tzvi Lev,

Avi Blut (center)
Avi Blut (center)
Mount Hevron Regional Council

Colonel Avi Blut took command of the elite Commando Brigade Thursday, replacing Colonel David Zini.

Blut is the second commander of the Commando Brigade, first established in 2015, and consisting of the Egoz anti-guerrilla warfare unit, the Duvdevan counter-terrorism battalion, Rimon, which specializes in desert warfare, and Maglan, which operates deep within enemy lines.

Its mission is to be an accessible, independent, and flexible integrated commando force that specializes in complex face-to-face combat, longrange raids, and lengthy covert operations in enemy territory.

A member of the national religious community, Blut grew up in Neve Tzuf (Halamish) in Samaria, and attended the Eli pre-army academy. He has previously commanded the Judea Regional Brigade and the 101 Battalion in the Paratroopers, and was wounded in Operation Cast Lead back in 2008.

Blut praised outgoing commander Colonel David Zini for being the first-ever commander of the Commando Brigade, telling him that "I have great appreciation for how you fulfilled your mission. You merited being the first-ever commander of the Commando Brigade, and have carried out many training exercises in Israel and abroad. You are man of integrity and a courageous commander."