Ramallah: Israeli agents masquerading as Palestinians are in action. These agents dress like Palestinian protesters, speak with the same accents and expressions, and show the same mannerisms. While covering their faces with checkered scarves, they shout slogans against the Israeli army. Not only this, sometimes they even throw stones in the direction of the soldiers. During the process they come close to Israeli army and then suddenly turns on the rest of the Palestinian protesters, brandishing guns that were concealed under their shirts, firing in the air, grabbing those nearest to them and wrestling them to the ground. Thus they help the army in taking Palestinians into custody. These agents are called “Musta’ribeen!” by the Palestinians.
As reported by Al-Jazeera Musta’ribeen, or mista’arvim in Hebrew, is a word that is derived from the Arabic “musta’rib”, or one that is specialized in Arabic language and culture. In Israeli security terms, the word denotes security forces who disguise themselves as Arabs and carry out missions in the heart of Palestinian societies or other Arab countries.
They are trained rigorously to carry out operations skillfully and are taught to think and act like a Palestinian. Their main missions, according to Israeli affairs expert Antoine Shalhat, include gathering intelligence, arresting Palestinians, and – in their eyes – counterterrorist operations.
The establishment of first Musta’ribeen unit dates back to 1942 before the state of Israel came into being until 1950. Since they operate in secret they largely remained unknown. They are taught Palestinian dialects and Arabic accents.