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Palestine Camouflage Patterns
- Sep 29, 2018 -

Camouflage Patterns of Palestinian Military Forces

  • Early units of the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) as well as early PLO (PLFP) units wore Egyptian-made reversible rocks/sand camouflage pattern uniforms from the 1960s to 1970s.

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  • Copies of the French lizard pattern were also worn by the Palestine Liberation Army (PLA) during the 1970s. Although at least one source claims these were made in East Germany[3] it seems more likely they were procured through sources in Syria or Iraq.


  • Another lizard variant worn by the PLA and As-Sa'iqa commandos features purplish-brown and olive green horizontal stripes on a greyish-green background, thus earning the nickname "purple lizard." As with the brighter versions, these uniforms appear to have been sourced in Syria and may even be surplus stocks from Syrian military supplies.


  • El-Fatah guerillas of the PLO were repeatedly documented wearing vertical stripe or vertical lizard pattern camouflage uniforms, made in both Syria or Egypt. Several variations have been documented, including one that is typically associated with Lebanon (and curiously nicknamed "Lebanese blue").

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  • Many uniforms worn by Palestinian forces were sourced from South Korean companies during the 1970s. Among these, the "waves" or "swirl" pattern worn by the ROK Special Forces is documented in use by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Although the pattern is the same, the uniform design is different from the Korean model. These may have been sourced through Iraq, which also wore the pattern.


  • The camouflage design seen in this photograph has been associated with Palestinian forces in several sources from the 1970s era. It appears to be a kind of Brushstroke variation incorporating very dark olive and purplish-brown strokes with very long and thin brush trails on a sandy-colored background. Some photographs illustrate the pattern oriented horizontally, as this one, while others indicate a vertical alignment. Most likely of local origin, the design may have been produced in one of the nearby nations such as Syria or Egypt.


  • The PFLP also wore a four-color "blotch" type pattern during this period, having dark green, dark brown and light brown blotch or woodland shapes on a khaki or tan background. Early versions of this design were reputedly locally-manufactured.


  • leaf pattern camouflage in use by the Iraqi Popular Army was also worn by the Arab Liberation Front (ALF) during the 1980s. Probably sourced through Iraq, the uniforms were made in Romania and South Korea.


  • Another South Korean camouflage pattern encountered among Palestinian forces is that of the ROK Marines. The so-called "turtle shell" design was worn by As-Sa'iqa commandos during the 1980s, although the uniform design is completely different from that of the Korean Marines.


  • Originally seen during the "Black September" crisis in Jordan, the Czech-made mlok (salamander) camouflage pattern was frequently found among various PLO combatants well into the 1990s.


  • The design seen below is of undetermined origin, but may have been produced in Cyprus. A brushstroke-derivative, the pattern incorporates reddish-brown and olive green shapes on a yellow-tan background, and is very crudely printed. Camouflage uniforms of the same or very similar designs to this were also worn by the Progressive Socialist Party in Lebanon, a paramilitary unit closely allied with Palestinian causes.


Camouflage Patterns of the Palestinian National Authority

  • With the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), several units were created to assist with law enforcement and border security. Within the Security Forces, some units (such as the Presidential Guard) often wear a copy of the US m81 woodland pattern camouflage.


  • Other units of the PA, particularly Special Police units, are frequently seen wearing a blue or purple "urban" DPM camouflage design, similar to that worn by Jordan and Kuwait.


  • Some Palestinian Police units also wear either a blue or a purple leaf camouflage design.


  • The PNA Presidential Guard have also been documented wearing the French CE woodland camouflage pattern on some occasions, in a BDU style uniform. By 2012, the uniforms had been obtained through several different sources.

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  • The PNA Presidential Guard have also been documented on a few occasions wearing a version of the French CE woodland pattern with a very darkened color palette. The effect is similar to that of the fabric being dyed black, and yet this is not the case.


  • Additionally, some special units of the PNA Security Forces have used a copy of the US six-color "chocolate chip" desert pattern recently.


  • Other units of the PNA Security Forces wear the Jordanian Army's KA2 desert digital camouflage pattern.