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Counterattack

Lost military map reveals elite unit’s World Cup obsession

Palestinians find map dropped by forces in Jenin, with roads named after Qatar quarterfinalists

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A military map found by Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin on December 8, 2022, featuring the name of countries in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals. (Social media: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
A military map found by Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin on December 8, 2022, featuring the name of countries in the 2022 World Cup quarterfinals. (Social media: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

A secret map used by Israeli troops during a raid in the West Bank early Thursday revealed that even the military can’t hide its excitement ahead of the World Cup quarterfinals, set to take place this weekend in Qatar.

Palestinian media published photos of the map that was apparently dropped by a soldier during the raid in the city of Jenin and the adjacent refugee camp.

The map showed apparent directions to a home of a Palestinian wanted by Israel, but more interesting were the codenames given to various roads in the area — France, Portugal, Brazil, The Netherlands, Argentina, England, and Japan.

Six of those countries are going to compete in the World Cup quarterfinals, set to take place Friday and Saturday.

The other two countries in the quarterfinals, Croatia and Morocco, were not featured on the map that was found. Japan was knocked out of the tournament in the round of 16.

A military source said the map belonged to the Yamas — the Border Police’s elite undercover counter-terrorism unit.

A military map found by Palestinians in the West Bank city of Jenin on December 8, 2022, featuring the name of countries in the 2022 World Cup quarter-finals. (Social media: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The Israel Police said the incident would be investigated, and “lessons would be learned.”

The military frequently changes codenames for areas in the West Bank when it conducts operations, and it appeared that the commanders in charge of Thursday’s raid were — like millions of others — fans of the World Cup.

Three Palestinian gunmen were killed in the raid in Jenin early Thursday, and three wanted Palestinians were arrested.

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