Colonel Ro'i Levy
Colonel Ro'i Levy IDF spokesman

Colonel Ro’i Levy served in Operation Protective Edge in Golani reconnaissance, and was seriously wounded in action. After a long and complicated rehabilitation, he returned to active service as commander of the Egoz unit and today he is the commander of the 300 Brigade, one of the most senior commanders on the Lebanese border.

To mark 20 years since the withdrawal of IDF forces from South Lebanon, Colonel Levy spoke with Arutz Sheva about serving on the northern security border.

“My first experience of service on the Lebanese border was as a regular soldier, when I was in the 12th Brigade of Golani,” he says. “I remember being a highly motivated soldier and I learned a lot from the ambushes and the other operations in the border area. Much of what I learned then has stayed with me to this day.”

Today, as commander of Brigade 300, he is responsible for the western section of the border with Lebanon. “The brigade operates like a well-oiled piece of machinery,” Levy says. “I could bring many examples of this, such as joint security operations dealing with incidents such as attempts to sneak across the border. In virtually every case, we manage to intercept the infiltrator almost immediately, when he’s still near the fence. Of course, there have also been much larger operations, such as Operation Northern Shield that took place between December 2019 and January 2019.”

Levy recalls his days as a young soldier posted on the security border and compares the situation prevailing then to today: “I have no doubt that the sense of security now is far greater than it was back then,” he says. “Living in the communities there is totally different from what it was once like.”

Levy admits that terror organizations operating in Lebanon, primarily Hezbollah, have grown in size and capacity since the Israeli withdrawal, but he stresses that “we have also enhanced our capabilities, and just as I know how to assess my enemy’s strength, I also know how to defeat him.

“The last two years have been ones during which the IDF has taken the initiative,” Levy continues. “In the majority of instances, we have been the ones acting and the enemy has merely responded. Regardless of what people may claim, what I see across the border is an enemy that is not at all eager to engage.”