Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal, are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force, navy, it is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel. The IDF is headed by its Chief of General Staff, the Ramatkal, subordinate to the Defense Minister of Israel. An order from Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion on 26 May 1948 set up the Israel Defense Forces as a conscript army formed out of the paramilitary group Haganah, incorporating the militant groups Irgun and Lehi; the IDF served as Israel's armed forces in all the country's major military operations—including the 1948 War of Independence, 1951–1956 Retribution operations, 1956 Sinai War, 1964–1967 War over Water, 1967 Six-Day War, 1967–1970 War of Attrition, 1968 Battle of Karameh, 1973 Operation Spring of Youth, 1973 Yom Kippur War, 1976 Operation Entebbe, 1978 Operation Litani, 1982 Lebanon War, 1982–2000 South Lebanon conflict, 1987–1993 First Intifada, 2000–2005 Second Intifada, 2002 Operation Defensive Shield, 2006 Lebanon War, 2008–2009 Operation Cast Lead, 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, 2014 Operation Protective Edge.
According to GlobalSecurity.org, the number of wars and border conflicts in which the IDF has been involved in its short history makes it one of the most battle-trained armed forces in the world. While the IDF operated on three fronts—against Lebanon and Syria in the north and Iraq in the east, Egypt in the south—after the 1979 Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, it has concentrated its activities in southern Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, including the First and the Second Intifada; the Israel Defense Forces is somewhat unique in its inclusion of mandatory conscription of women and its structure, which emphasizes close relations between the army and air force. Since its founding, the IDF has been designed to match Israel's unique security situation; the IDF is one of Israeli society's most prominent institutions, influencing the country's economy and political scene. In 1965, the Israel Defense Forces was awarded the Israel Prize for its contribution to education; the IDF uses several technologies developed in Israel, many of them made to match the IDF's needs, such as the Merkava main battle tank, Achzarit armoured personnel carrier, high tech weapons systems, the Iron Dome missile defense system, Trophy active protection system for vehicles, the Galil and Tavor assault rifles.
The Uzi submachine gun was invented in Israel and used by the IDF until December 2003, ending a service that began in 1954. Since 1967, the IDF has had close military relations with the United States, including development cooperation, such as on the F-15I jet, THEL laser defense system, the Arrow missile defense system; the Israel Defense Forces are believed to have had an operational nuclear weapons capability since 1967 possessing between 80 and 400 nuclear weapons, with delivery systems forming a nuclear triad, of plane launched-missiles, Jericho III intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine launched cruise missiles. The Israeli cabinet ratified the name "Israel Defense Forces", Tzva HaHagana LeYisra'el "army for the defense of Israel," on 26 May 1948; the other main contender was Tzva Yisra'el. The name was chosen because it conveyed the idea that the army's role was defense, because it incorporated the name Haganah, the pre-state defensive organization upon which the new army was based.
Among the primary opponents of the name were Minister Haim-Moshe Shapira and the Hatzohar party, both in favor of Tzva Yisra'el. The IDF traces its roots to Jewish paramilitary organizations in the New Yishuv, starting with the Second Aliyah; the first such organization was Bar-Giora, founded in September 1907. Bar-Giora was transformed into Hashomer in April 1909, which operated until the British Mandate of Palestine came into being in 1920. Hashomer was an elitist organization with narrow scope, was created to protect against criminal gangs seeking to steal property; the Zion Mule Corps and the Jewish Legion, both part of the British Army of World War I, would further bolster the Yishuv with military experience and manpower, forming the basis for paramilitary forces. After the 1920 Palestine riots against Jews in April 1920, the Yishuv leadership realised the need for a nationwide underground defense organization, the Haganah was founded in June of the same year; the Haganah became a full-scale defense force after the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine with an organized structure, consisting of three main units—the Field Corps, Guard Corps, the Palmach.
During World War II, the Yishuv participated in the British war effort, culminating in the formation of the Jewish Brigade. These would form the backbone of the Israel Defense Forces, provide it with its initial manpower and doctrine. Following Israel's Declaration of Independence, Prime Minister and Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion issued an order for the formation of the Israel Defense Forces on 26 May 1948. Although Ben-Gurion had no legal authority to issue such an order, the order was made legal by the cabinet on 31 May; the same order called for the disbandment of all other Jewish armed forces. The two other Jewish underground organizations and Lehi, agreed to join the IDF if they would be able to form independent units and agreed not to make independent arms purchase
Dan Halutz is an Israeli Air Force lieutenant general and former Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and commander of the Israeli Air Force. Halutz served as Chief of Staff in 2005-2007. Halutz was born in Tel Aviv and grew up on moshav Hagor, his parents are both Mizrahi Jewish, they were born in Iran and in Iraq. Halutz holds a degree in economics from Tel Aviv University, a Harvard Business School degree, he is chairman of the Etgarim special-needs charity. Halutz joined the Israeli Air Force in 1966 and graduated from combat flight school in 1968. In 1969, he joined the first F-4 Phantom squadron of the IAF. During the War of Attrition, Halutz carried out 40 operational flights. After the war, he left the IDF in order to study, but returned to active duty when the Yom Kippur War started, in 1973. During the war, Halutz flew over 43 operational flights, shooting down three enemy planes in dogfights. In 1978, he served as a reserve pilot for four years, he returned to active service in 1982, when he was trained to pilot the new F-16 jet fighter.
In 1984, he commanded a Phantom squadron. In 1986, he was appointed to head the IAI Lavi jet project. After the project was canceled due to American pressure, Halutz was appointed as commander of Hatzor airbase in 1991. In 1993, he was appointed as head of air group. In 1995, he was appointed as the head of air force headquarters. In 1998, he was promoted to major general and in 1999, he was appointed as the head of the Operations Wing in the IDF General Staff. In 2000, Halutz was appointed commander of the Israeli Air Force. Serving in this position, Halutz implemented changes that earned him the appreciation and respect of his officers and pilots. During Halutz's term, Israel purchased F-15E and F-16 fighter jets, capable of strategic bombing in all weather conditions. Halutz expanded the usage of UAV drones to various missions as an effective tool of scouting and reconnaissance, he led the IAF during the Al-Aqsa Intifada, during which he was recognized by experts and subordinates as an innovative and a charismatic leader.
During his term, the IAF took part in several'targeted killing' operations of Palestinian militant leaders. Halutz's main reforms in the Air Force were the tightening of cooperation with the ground forces and the Shin Bet, the massive employment of UAV drones, the upgrading of precision strike capabilities in helicopter gunships and jets and the sharp decrease of accidents and aerial failures. During Halutz's time, only a small number of accidents occurred, none of them lethal. Moreover, he held a record of a straight 2.5 years with a clean slate of no accidents at all. In 2004, he was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff. On February 23, 2005, Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz announced that Halutz would be the next IDF Chief of Staff. On June 1, 2005, Halutz was appointed the eighteenth Chief of Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and was awarded the rank of Rav-Aluf, it is the second time in the history of the Israel Defense Forces that a former IAF commander became the head of the entire military.
General Chaim Laskov was the first. On January 17, 2007, Halutz resigned from office, following a critical report from former Chief of Staff Dan Shomron. Halutz stated that he made the decision "based on deep-rooted values, those of strong ethics, loyalty to the organization and integrity." "I served the army responsibly for over four decades, this responsibility continued in the last few months. It is this responsibility that led me to announce my resignation." Halutz tightened the cooperation of the IAF with the IDF ground forces and the Shabak, enabling the IAF to arrange "targeted killings" of Palestinian militants within minutes after being provided intelligence from the Shabak. The targeted killings policy has become identified to a large degree with Halutz himself. Brig. Gen Iftach Spector, past commander of the Ramat David Airbase and the Tel Nof Airbase, accused Halutz of encouraging a culture within the IDF of compromising one's principles, citing among other things the targeted killings policy.
On the night of July 23, 2002, an IAF warplane dropped a one-ton bomb on a Gaza apartment building where senior Hamas commander Salah Shahade was sleeping together with his wife and family. The building was situated in a densely populated residential neighborhood. Besides Shehada and his wife and daughter, a dozen more civilians were killed, most of them children. Israel's prime minister Ariel Sharon called the operation a success in the war on terror, but political critics pointed out that it was carried out hours after Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin issued a statement offering an end to suicide bombing, just as the Palestinian Authority was working out a deal with Hamas to end terror attacks. All these developments were undone by the bombing, the terror wave resumed. There was at least one revenge attack directly related to the Shehade bombing – on July 31 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, killing 7 civilians including 2 Americans. Human-rights organizations have criticized the attack, proclaiming that the intentional dropping of a one-ton bomb in the middle of the night on a dense civilian neighborhood is tantamount to a war crime.
The Gush Shalom movement threatened to turn the pilot over to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Halutz, abroad during the bombing itself but was still accountable as IAF commander, gave an interview to Haaretz, published on August 21, 2002. To his pilots he said: Guys... you can sleep well at night. I sleep well, by the way. You aren't the ones who choose the targets, you were not the
Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names; the modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a large and powerful military. Most European nations copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and transfer to the reserve force. Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country, seeking asylum in another country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or outside the military, such as Siviilipalvelus in Finland, Zivildienst in Austria and Switzerland.
Several countries conscript male soldiers not only for armed forces, but for paramilitary agencies, which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service like Internal Troops, Border Guards or non-combat rescue duties like Civil defence troops – none of, considered alternative to the military conscription. As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops; the ability to rely on such an arrangement, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis. States involved in wars or interstate rivalries are most to implement conscription, whereas democracies are less than autocracies to implement conscription. Former British colonies are less to have conscription, as they are influenced by British anticonscription norms that can be traced back to the English Civil War.
Around the reign of Hammurabi, the Babylonian Empire used. Under that system those eligible were required to serve in the royal army in time of war. During times of peace they were instead required to provide labour for other activities of the state. In return for this service, people subject to it gained the right to hold land, it is possible that this right was not to hold land per se but specific land supplied by the state. Various forms of avoiding military service are recorded. While it was outlawed by the Code of Hammurabi, the hiring of substitutes appears to have been practiced both before and after the creation of the code. Records show that Ilkum commitments could become traded. In other places, people left their towns to avoid their Ilkum service. Another option was to sell Ilkum lands and the commitments along with them. With the exception of a few exempted classes, this was forbidden by the Code of Hammurabi. In medieval Scandinavia the leiðangr, leding, lichting, expeditio or sometimes leþing, was a levy of free farmers conscripted into coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm.
The bulk of the Anglo-Saxon English army, called the fyrd, was composed of part-time English soldiers drawn from the freemen of each county. In the 690s Laws of Ine, three levels of fines are imposed on different social classes for neglecting military service; some modern writers claim. These thegns were the land-holding aristocracy of the time and were required to serve with their own armour and weapons for a certain number of days each year; the historian David Sturdy has cautioned about regarding the fyrd as a precursor to a modern national army composed of all ranks of society, describing it as a "ridiculous fantasy":The persistent old belief that peasants and small farmers gathered to form a national army or fyrd is a strange delusion dreamt up by antiquarians in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries to justify universal military conscription. Medieval levy in Poland was known as the pospolite ruszenie; the system of military slaves was used in the Middle East, beginning with the creation of the corps of Turkish slave-soldiers by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim in the 820s and 830s.
The Turkish troops soon came to dominate the government, establishing a pattern throughout the Islamic world of a ruling military class separated by ethnicity and religion by the mass of the population, a paradigm that found its apogee in the Mamluks of Egypt and the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, institutions that survived until the early 19th century. In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Sultan Murad I developed personal troops to be loyal to him, with a slave army called the Kapıkulu; the new force was built by taking Christian children from newly conquered lands from the far areas of his empire, in a system known as the devşirme. The captive children were forced to convert to Islam; the Sultans had the young boys trained over several years. Those who showed special promise in fighting skills were trained in advanced warrior skills, put into the sultan's personal service, turned into the Janissaries, the elite branch of the Kapıkulu. A n
Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini, popularly known as Yasser Arafat or by his kunya Abu Ammar, was a Palestinian political leader. He was Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization from 1969 to 2004 and President of the Palestinian National Authority from 1994 to 2004. Ideologically an Arab nationalist, he was a founding member of the Fatah political party, which he led from 1959 until 2004. Arafat was born to Palestinian parents in Cairo, where he spent most of his youth and studied at the University of King Fuad I. While a student, he embraced Arab anti-Zionist ideas. Opposed to the 1948 creation of the State of Israel, he fought alongside the Muslim Brotherhood during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Returning to Cairo, he served as president of the General Union of Palestinian Students from 1952 to 1956. In the latter part of the 1950s he co-founded Fatah, a paramilitary organisation seeking the disestablishment of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian state.
Fatah operated from where it launched attacks on Israeli targets. In the latter part of the 1960s Arafat's profile grew. Fatah's growing presence in Jordan resulted in military clashes with King Hussein's Jordanian government and in the early 1970s it relocated to Lebanon. There, Fatah assisted the Lebanese National Movement during the Lebanese Civil War and continued its attacks on Israel, resulting in it becoming a major target of Israel's 1978 and 1982 invasions. From 1983 to 1993, Arafat based himself in Tunisia, began to shift his approach from open conflict with the Israelis to negotiation. In 1988, he acknowledged Israel's right to exist and sought a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. In 1994 he returned to Palestine, settling in Gaza City and promoting self-governance for the Palestinian territories, he engaged in a series of negotiations with the Israeli government to end the conflict between it and the PLO. These included the Madrid Conference of the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 2000 Camp David Summit.
In 1994 Arafat received the Nobel Peace Prize, together with Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, for the negotiations at Oslo. At the time, Fatah's support among the Palestinians declined with the growth of Hamas and other militant rivals. In late 2004, after being confined within his Ramallah compound for over two years by the Israeli army, Arafat fell into a coma and died. While the cause of Arafat's death has remained the subject of speculation, investigations by Russian and French teams determined no foul play was involved. Arafat remains a controversial figure; the majority of the Palestinian people view him as a heroic freedom fighter and martyr who symbolized the national aspirations of his people. Conversely, most Israelis came to regard him as an unrepentant terrorist, while Palestinian rivals, including Islamists and several PLO leftists denounced him for being corrupt or too submissive in his concessions to the Israeli government. Arafat was born in Egypt, his father, Abdel Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini, was a Palestinian from Gaza City, whose mother, Yasser's paternal grandmother, was Egyptian.
Arafat's father battled in the Egyptian courts for 25 years to claim family land in Egypt as part of his inheritance but was unsuccessful. He worked as a textile merchant in Cairo's religiously mixed Sakakini District. Arafat was the second-youngest of seven children and was, along with his younger brother Fathi, the only offspring born in Cairo, his mother, Zahwa Abul Saud, was from a Jerusalem-based family. She died from a kidney ailment in 1933. Arafat's first visit to Jerusalem came when his father, unable to raise seven children alone, sent Yasser and his brother Fathi to their mother's family in the Moroccan Quarter of the Old City, they lived there with their uncle Salim Abul Saud for four years. In 1937, their father recalled them to be taken care of by Inam. Arafat had a deteriorating relationship with his father. Arafat's sister Inam stated in an interview with Arafat's biographer, British historian Alan Hart, that Arafat was beaten by his father for going to the Jewish quarter in Cairo and attending religious services.
When she asked Arafat why he would not stop going, he responded by saying that he wanted to study Jewish mentality. In 1944, Arafat enrolled in the University of King Fuad I and graduated in 1950. At university, he engaged Jews in discussion and read publications by Theodor Herzl and other prominent Zionists. By 1946 he was an Arab nationalist and began procuring weapons to be smuggled into the former British Mandate of Palestine, for use by irregulars in the Arab Higher Committee and the Army of the Holy War militias. During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, Arafat left the University and, along with other Arabs, sought to enter Palestine to join Arab forces fighting against Israeli troops and the creation of the state of Israel. However, instead of joining the ranks of the Palestinian fedayeen, Arafat fought alongside the Muslim Brotherhood, although he did not join the organization, he took part in combat in the Gaza area. In early 1949, the war was winding down in Israel's favor, Arafat returned to Cairo from a lack of logistical support.
After returning to the University, Arafat studied civil engineering and served as pr
Armored Corps (Israel)
The Israeli Armored Corps is a corps of the Israel Defense Forces that, since 1998, has been subordinate to GOC Army Headquarters. The Armored Corps is the principal maneuvering corps, bases its strength on Main Battle Tanks; the Armored Corps is the decisive corps in GOC Army Headquarters, bases its power on a combination of mobility and firepower. During wars, its primary role on the one hand, to lead the first line of the attacking forces and to clear the area of the enemy. Secondarily, it seeks to destroy its tanks and armor. During peacetime, it reinforces the Infantry Corps while it performs security tasks, with the tanks serving as mobile bunkers; the following list contains all active armor brigades: 7th "Saar me-Golan/Storm from Golan" Armor Brigade 188th "Barak/Lightning" Armor Brigade 401st "I'kvot Ha-Barzel/Iron Trails" Armor Brigade 460th "Bnei Or/Sons of Light" Armor Brigade 36th "Ga'ash" Armor Division The division is stationed on the Golan Heights under Northern Command. It includes the 7th and 188th Armor Brigades: 7th "Saar me-Golan" Armor Brigade It was the first IDF armored brigade and has participated in all of Israel's wars.
The brigade's fighting during the Suez War resulted in a breakthrough in how the army approached the character of armored warfare. As of 2014, the brigade is transitioning from Merkava 2 tanks to Merkava 4 tanks. 188th "Barak" Armor Brigade Beginning with the Six-Day War, the brigade participated in all of Israel’s wars. During the Yom Kippur War, the brigade was the first line of defense in the first days of the war in the Southern Golan, saw all of its officers killed in action, it was the last armored brigade to use the Centurion tank, converting to Merkava 3 tanks in 1992. 162nd "Utzvat HaPlada" Armor Division This division is subordinated to Southern Command. It includes the 401st Armor Brigade: 401st "I'kvot Ha-Barzel" Armor Brigade This brigade was created in 1968 in order to control the Suez Canal line. During the Yom Kippur War, it suffered heavy losses. During the 1982 Lebanon War, it fought in the Southern force—one of its battalions participated in the Sultan Yaakov battle. During 2004–05, the brigade's Magach tanks were replaced by Merkava 4 tanks.
460th "Bnei Or" Armor Brigade This brigade is the training brigade of the Armored Corps. It maintains two bases: the Shizafon training base—the school for the corps' commanders, where the officers and tank commanders are instructed—and Camp Magen-Sayarim, the Armored Corps school, where basic and continued training is undertaken, preparing armor combatants toward the operational brigades; the following list contains all reserve armor brigades: 4th "Kiryati" Armor Brigade 8th Armor Brigade 10th "Harel" Armor Brigade 14th "Machatz/Bison" Armor Brigade 37th "Ram" Armor Brigade 205th "Iron Fist" Armor Brigade 263rd "Merkavot ha-Esh/Chariots of Fire" Armor Brigade 679th "Yiftah" Armor Brigade 847th "Chariots of Steel" Armor Brigade 252nd "Sinai" Armor Division This division is stationed in the South of Israel and under Southern Command. It includes the 10th and 14th Armor Brigades: 10th "Harel" Armor Brigade The brigade was established as a division of the Palmach on 16 April 1948 after Operation Nachshon.
Yitzhak Rabin was appointed as its first commander. During the Suez Crisis in 1956, the brigade fought. In 1959, the brigade was made into a reserve unit of the Armored Corps. In the Six-Day War, the brigade fought in the battles for Jerusalem under the command of Uri Ben Ari. Today, the brigade is part of Uzvat Amud ha-Esh. 14th "Machatz" Armor Brigade The brigade was active during the War of Attrition when it split to provide the basis for the 401st Armoured Brigade. During the Yom Kippur War, it was an armored reserve supporting the infantry brigades holding the Bar-Lev Line, it was rebuilt afterwards. 319th "Ha-Mapatz" Armor Division This division is stationed in the North of Israel and under Northern Command. It includes the 4th and 205th Armor Brigades: 4th "Kiryati" Armor Brigade 205th "Iron Fist" Armor Brigade 340th "Idan" Armor Division This division is stationed in Central Israel and under Central Command, it includes the 847th Armor Brigade: 847th "Merkavot HaPlada/Chariots of Steel" Armor Brigade Recently, the brigade took part in the 2006 Lebanon War, most notably in the Battle of Bint Jbeil and battle of Yaroun.
All recruits must have a minimum Medical Profile of 72. Cadets first undergo eight weeks of basic training, classed as Rifleman 04 level in the Tironut system, they train in light weapons, field training, first aid, physical fitness. Following the end of basic training, the cadets train for six weeks in one of three specialties: gunner and driver, they engage in practical exercises during this period. After completing this training, the cadets are granted their beret and move on to complete 10 weeks of exercises during which they practice engaging in combat and functioning as tank crews. At the end of the course, some soldiers are selected to attend the tank commander's course; the tank commander's course lasts about three and a half months, during which cadets train in the two other specialties that they did not train in earlier, in the principles of command, control and assessment of situations. Following the end of the co
IDF Spokesperson's Unit
The IDF Spokesperson's Unit is the unit in the IDF Operations Directorate, responsible for information policy and media relations. The unit is led by the IDF Spokesperson, a brigadier general and member of the General Staff, by the Deputy Spokesperson, a colonel; the current Spokesperson is Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, who replaced in this position Maj. Gen. Moti Almoz; the IDF Spokesperson's Unit was founded in 1948 with the creation of the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces. According to the unit's mission statement:The IDF Spokesperson's Unit was established as the liaison between the IDF and the domestic and foreign media and general public; the unit performs a variety of functions, including serving as the spokesperson for the IDF to domestic and foreign media and implementing IDF public relations policies, disseminating military related information to the public, instructing IDF personnel in matters pertaining to public relations, developing relationships with media outlets and accompanying them to military events.
The Spokesperson's Unit is headed by a Brigadier General and reports to the IDF's Operations Directorate. It is represented on the IDF General Staff Forum and is directly subordinate to the Chief of the General Staff; the unit services some 500 media outlets and 2500 journalists and civilian agents, addressing over 2000 inquiries a month. By charter, the unit is forbidden from engaging in Psychological Warfare and from the dissemination of falsified information; the first IDF Spokesman was Lt. Col. Moshe Pearlman, a journalist and immigrant from Britain, appointed in 1948 with the establishment of the State. After the first several years of activity, the IDF Spokesperson's office was upgraded to unit status, under the authority of the Military Intelligence Directorate of the IDF, it was further upgraded to a full brigade in 1973. In 1979, Brigadier General Yaakov Even opened the film and photography departments in the IDF Spokesperson's Unit which in turn opened the first International School for Combat Journalism and Photography in 2007.
During the Gulf War in the 1990s, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit was repositioned to directly report to the IDF Chief of Staff. The head of the unit at the time, Brig. Gen. Nachman Shai, changed the unit's uniform tag to the one it has today, it was placed under the Operations Directorate during changes to the army made in 2000. In the year 2006, the Chief of Staff concentrated the Spokesperson's Unit as the professional military authority in matters of public relations. Within this concentrated framework, new branches and positions were opened within the unit. Despite its presence on the front lines since 1948, the unit has only suffered one combat fatality, Sergeant Lior Ziv, a photographer, killed during military operations in 2003; the IDF Spokesperson's Unit use a member of their staff to address the media. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner of the IDF is employed by the unit when addressing British and English speaking news agencies, he was born and educated in London. 1948–1952: Lt. Col. Moshe Pearlman 1952–1953: Lt. Col. Aminadav Fry 1953–1955: Col. Nahman Karni 1955–1957: Col. Nehemiah Brosh 1957–1959: Lt. Col. Shaul Ramati 1959–1963: Lt. Col. Dov Sinai 1963–1967: Col. Aryeh Shalev 1967–1969: Col. Rafael Efrat 1969–1973: Col. Yossi Calev 1973–1974: Brig. Gen. Pinhas Lahav 1974–1975: Brig. Gen. Efraim Poran 1975–1976: Brig. Gen. Dov Shion 1976–1977: Brig. Gen. Yoel Ben Porat 1977–1979: Col. Yitzhak Golan 1979–1984: Brig. Gen. Ya'akov Even 1984–1989: Brig. Gen. Efraim Lapid 1989–1991: Brig. Gen. Nachman Shai 1991–1994: Brig. Gen. Eilan Tal 1994–1996: Brig. Gen. Amos Gilad 1996–1999: Brig. Gen. Oded Ben Ami 2000–2002: Brig. Gen. Ron Kitri 2002–2005: Brig. Gen. Ruth Yaron 2005–2007: Brig. Gen. Miri Regev 2007–2011: Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu 2011–2013: Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai 2013–2017: Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz 2017-present: Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis The IDF Spokesperson's Unit is responsible for the IDF's information policy and media relations in both peace and war time.
The unit is divided into several sub-units which deal with various areas of activity including domestic and foreign press liaison, public relations, photography, video and training. IDF Spokesperson: The IDF Spokesperson heads the IDF Spokesperson Unit and holds the rank of Tat Aluf; the IDF Spokesperson is subordinate to the Chief of the Operations Branch, who holds the rank of Aluf, is a member of the IDF General Staff Forum. The current IDF Spokesperson is Brigadier General Ronen Manelis, who replaced former Spokesperson Moti Almoz in 2017. Israeli Media Branch: Responsible for the daily management of communication with various media outlets for specific target audiences. Large-circulation Israeli newspapers such as Yedioth Aharonoth and Haaretz, as well as smaller newspapers, religious media and internet sources, are all assisted by the Communications Branch on military and security matters. International Media Branch: Responsible for the administration of IDF communications with international media outlets, for shaping the image of the IDF in the foreign public arena.
Through the different desks – the News Desk. In June 2009 a New Media Desk was set up in order to deal with the growing interest from bloggers and various social media networks. Since the desk's formation there has been a marked increase in the IDF Spokesperson Unit's online presence, through such venues as an official blog, a YouTube account, a Twitter feed, with the goal
Israel the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west and Egypt to the southwest; the country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition. Israel has evidence of the earliest migration of hominids out of Africa. Canaanite tribes are archaeologically attested since the Middle Bronze Age, while the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah emerged during the Iron Age; the Neo-Assyrian Empire destroyed Israel around 720 BCE. Judah was conquered by the Babylonian and Hellenistic empires and had existed as Jewish autonomous provinces.
The successful Maccabean Revolt led to an independent Hasmonean kingdom by 110 BCE, which in 63 BCE however became a client state of the Roman Republic that subsequently installed the Herodian dynasty in 37 BCE, in 6 CE created the Roman province of Judea. Judea lasted as a Roman province until the failed Jewish revolts resulted in widespread destruction, expulsion of Jewish population and the renaming of the region from Iudaea to Syria Palaestina. Jewish presence in the region has persisted to a certain extent over the centuries. In the 7th century CE, the Levant was taken from the Byzantine Empire by the Arabs and remained in Muslim control until the First Crusade of 1099, followed by the Ayyubid conquest of 1187; the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt extended its control over the Levant in the 13th century until its defeat by the Ottoman Empire in 1517. During the 19th century, national awakening among Jews led to the establishment of the Zionist movement in the diaspora followed by waves of immigration to Ottoman Syria and British Mandate Palestine.
In 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, rejected by Arab leaders; the following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip, it extended its laws to the Golan East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed.
In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a democratic state. The country has a liberal democracy, with a parliamentary system, proportional representation, universal suffrage; the prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature. Israel is a developed country and an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member, with the 32nd-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2017; the country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East, has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Furthermore, Israel ranked 11th in the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report. Upon independence in 1948, the country formally adopted the name "State of Israel" after other proposed historical and religious names including Eretz Israel and Judea, were considered but rejected.
In the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term "Israeli" to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have been used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel and the entire Jewish people respectively; the name "Israel" in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, according to the Hebrew Bible, was given the name after he wrestled with the angel of the Lord. Jacob's twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. Jacob and his sons had lived in Canaan but were forced by famine to go into Egypt for four generations, lasting 430 years, until Moses, a great-great grandson of Jacob, led the Israelites back into Canaan during the "Exodus"; the earliest known archaeological artifact to mention the word "Israel" as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity and the Bahá'í Faith.
Under British Mandate, the whole region was known as Palestine (Hebre