Land of Israel: Defense Forces
Ottoman and Mandatory Periods (1878–1948)
The development of the self-defense force of the yishuv was an influential part of the history of Jewish settlement in Ereẓ Israel. In the last quarter of the 19th century, when the first Jewish agricultural settlements came into being, the Turkish regime was hostile toward them. The internal security of the village areas left much to be desired, and the safety of the settlers depended on the good graces of the local strong man – the Bedouin or village sheikh. The Jewish settlers had to cope with border friction, disputes on water rights, and intrusions on their crops and property. Their choice was either to fight for their rights or be left to the mercy of their neighbors. As a result, individuals and groups of young people organized to fight for these elementary rights. This was the period of the first watchmen (shomerim), typical of whom was Abraham *Shapira, head watchman of Petaḥ Tikvah, who became well known among the Arabs by guarding the village and its fields with the help of the young settlers and hired Bedouin. After some time, guard duty in most of the settlements became the task of local Arab strong men, who undertook to protect them by sending their men to guard Jewish life and property.
The immigrants of the Second Aliyah, which began in 1904, were critical of the early settlers and well aware of the dangers involved in employing non-Jewish watchmen. The young newcomers had been influenced by the ideas of the Zionist Movement and modern Hebrew writers. Many of them had been through pogroms and had learned the arts of self-defense in Russia. They saw the settlers' dependence on outside armed forces as a fundamental defect. Israel *Shochat, one of the first to consider the idea of a Jewish armed force, pointed to various Middle East minorities, such as the Druze and Circassians, who had won their right to exist by proving their bravery against their attackers. Shochat came to the conclusion that a group of Jewish fighters should be created to win the respect of their neighbors and raise the prestige of the yishuv's fighting ability. He therefore established *Ha-Shomer in 1909. Within a period of four to five years, Ha-Shomer had taken over the guard duty of all the Jewish settlements in Lower Galilee, as well as of several of the larger settlements in Samaria and Judea. During the same period, guard duty in several other settlements was also assumed by young Jews. The image of the Jewish fighter was thus created. Ha-Shomer's principle was to employ Jewish watchmen only; its methods called for a small body of professional watchmen who would study Arab methods of fighting and try to outdo their enemy in organizational ability, discipline, and force of arms. In 1913 Shochat presented a memorandum to the Zionist Organization proposing the establishment of a countrywide organization for the defense of the settlements that would incorporate every male capable of bearing arms. The men of Ha-Shomer were to head the organization, train the members, and be responsible for the security of the arms depots. Ha-Shomer was thus the first stage in the development of the yishuv's military force.
the jewish legion
During World War i the idea of the *Jewish Legion was born. Its main protagonist, Vladimir *Jabotinsky, envisaged the Legion (which was established during the war years) as helping the British army to conquer Palestine and, on the conclusion of the war, serving as the garrison of the country. It was also to ensure the security of the Jewish settlements by serving as a concrete symbol of the political status of the Jewish National Home. After the *Balfour Declaration (1917), the opposition of the Arab National Movement (see *Israel, State of: Historical Survey, section on the Arab National Movement) to Jewish immigration and settlement became increasingly stronger. The riots that took place in Palestine in the years 1920–21 strengthened recognition of the need for an independent Jewish force.
The yishuv learned its first lesson when faced with the problem of defending settlements in northern Upper Galilee, which was under French rule at that time. As a result of the Arab uprising against the French, the settlements were in danger, and the Jewish authorities were inclined to transfer the settlers to the area under British occupation. This suggestion was indignantly rejected by Ha-Shomer, which sent reinforcements of men and ammunition to the besieged villages and entrusted the organization of the defense to Joseph *Trumpeldor. The stand against the Arabs at *Tel Ḥai in March 1920, during which Trumpeldor and several of his comrades fell in battle, became a symbol of Jewish resistance both in Ereẓ Israel and in the Diaspora. It also established a new principle in the yishuv's defense policy – "No Jewish settlement is to be abandoned for any security consideration whatsoever." The second lesson was derived from the 1920 Passover riots in Jerusalem. Jabotinsky headed a self-defense organization that he had established openly and, he assumed, legally, demanding arms from the British authorities. When the riots broke out in Jerusalem, however, the British prevented this defense force from entering the Old City. Jabotinsky and 20 of his men were arrested and sentenced to long prison terms. The rioting continued for several days before the British army restored order to the city. To ensure its security the yishuv needed an autonomous force, independent of any foreign power. Consequently, Ha-Shomer decided to disband and an *Aḥdut ha-Avodah conference held at Kinneret in June 1920, attended by a group of ex-Battalion soldiers led by Eliyahu *Golomb and Dov *Hos, established the *Haganah ("Defense") organization. The third lesson came in May 1921 with the outbreak of bloody riots that spread from Jaffa to the Jewish villages in Judea and Samaria and included the murder of Jews and attempts to break into their villages. The attacks were vigorously repulsed by local defense forces with the help of the British army. The participation in the defense of Tel Aviv of a unit of Jewish soldiers that was to have been the nucleus of a renewed Jewish Battalion led the British to disband the unit and cancel the plan to revive it. These events strengthened the view that the yishuv could rely on neither a foreign army nor a Jewish Legion under a foreign command whose policy was guided by extraneous military and political considerations.
haganah – early days
During the first nine years of its existence, the Haganah was a loose organization of local defense groups in the large towns and in several of the settlements. Although it enjoyed Zionist sympathy it received no material support from the Zionist Organization, which regarded the Haganah as a local version of the self-defense organizations of Eastern Europe. Jabotinsky, who felt very strongly about the security problems of the yishuv, held to the idea of the Legion, and at first regarded the Haganah not only as a poor substitute, but as an irresponsible security factor likely to cause political harm. The Haganah's development was dealt a serious blow by the withdrawal of the ex-members of Ha-Shomer because of a disagreement on administrative policy. These men established an independent arms depot and a training center within the framework of the *Gedud ha-Avodah ("Labor Legion").
The Arab riots of August 1929 changed the attitude of the yishuv and the Zionist Organization toward the Haganah. It had become evident that the bloodiest anti-Jewish riots and the heaviest looting had occurred in those places where there was no Haganah (such as Hebron) or where the Haganah was weak (as in Safed). The Jewish population of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and several of the settlements had been saved by the stand of the Haganah forces – limited as they were. Following the riots, the Haganah went through a difficult organizational crisis, which was climaxed by the establishment of a countrywide supreme command in which the labor and non-labor sections were accorded equal representation. During this crisis a group of local commanders seceded and established the *Irgun Ẓeva'i Le'ummi (iẒl – "National Military Organization"), consisting mainly of right-wing and *Revisionist elements.
In the period from 1931 to 1936, the Haganah became a large organization encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the settlements as well as several thousand members from each of the cities. It initiated a comprehensive training program for its members, ran officers' training courses, and established central arms depots into which a continuous stream of light arms (rifles and pistols) flowed from Europe. Simultaneously, the basis was laid for the underground production of arms (Ta'as), the first product of which was the hand grenade. This period saw the crystallization of two additional principles that brought the Haganah even closer to becoming a national army. The first was the principle of a single defense organization, subject to a single and central command, which inevitably entailed opposition to the existence of dissident groups. The second principle was the recognition of the authority of the yishuv's political leadership, i.e., the *Jewish Agency and the *Va'ad Le'ummi.
During the riots that broke out in April 1936 and the three years of the Arab revolt that followed, the Haganah played a central role in the life of the yishuv. Although the British administration did not officially recognize the organization, the British Security Forces cooperated with it by establishing an armed civilian militia. One of the largest units of this force was the Jewish Settlement Police (jsp), with branches in all the villages and city suburbs. Thousands of Haganah members were sworn in as "Supernumerary Police," received uniforms and arms from the administration, and were trained under the supervision of British army and police officers. Other police units were established to guard the railroads, airfields, government offices, and various installations. With the increasing intensity of the Arab revolt, Jews were incorporated into British army units to fight the marauding Arab bands. In the summer of 1938 Special Night Squads (sns) were established under the command of Captain Orde *Wingate, who trained them in the methods of guerilla warfare. The jsp became a militia of 12 battalions, including mobile defense units equipped with armored vehicles and machine guns.
The British administration attempted to make the establishment of the police units conditional upon the surrender of all illegal arms. However, this condition was resolutely rejected by the Haganah command, who saw these legal units as only one aspect of its activities. The Haganah continued to develop as an autonomous force and stepped up the local manufacture of arms as well as the purchase of arms from abroad. The latter was further increased by a secret agreement between Haganah representatives and Polish government circles. At the outset of the riots, the Haganah's aim was the fortification of the settlements. Barbed-wire fencing and concrete outposts were erected and trenches were dug. As the riots continued it became clear that it was also necessary to guard traffic on the roads and workers in the fields, as well as crops and orchards outside the limits of the settlements. Yiẓḥak *Sadeh played an important role in the establishment of mobile units, which quickly became field squads (peluggot sadeh). The Arab revolt threatened to slow down Jewish settlement, and it fell to the Haganah to safeguard newly established settlements. To this end, the *Stockade and Watchtower type of settlement was evolved.
One of the most serious questions that faced the Haganah at the outbreak of riots was that of "restraint" (Heb. havlagah). Attacks by Arab bands on unarmed men, women, and children aroused a desire for revenge; some Jews began to feel that Arabs interpreted the lack of any Jewish reaction as weakness and that the yishuv should adapt its behavior to the "Arab mentality." But the Jewish Agency decided on a policy of restraint on both ethical and political grounds, and the Haganah accepted its authority on this question. A formula was eventually worked out that allowed for limited retaliatory actions sanctioned by the Haganah command. In the spring of 1937, the iẒl split, and a section of its members returned to the ranks of Haganah. The other section, mainly under the influence of the Revisionist movement, maintained a dissident armed force subject to the authority of Jabotinsky. The iẒl did not accept the policy of restraint and, from the summer of 1938, developed methods of mass retaliation against the Arab population.
haganah in the struggle for independence
In September 1939 a General Staff of the Haganah was established under the political direction of the Jewish Agency through the head of the Haganah command. The Haganah's administration was systematically overhauled; countrywide defense plans, training methods, armament plants, and methods for acquiring arms were developed and expanded. The first chief of staff was Ya'akov *Dori. The Arab revolt was the testing ground for the Haganah's fighting capacity. It was during this period that many men who were to be Israel Defense Forces (idf) commanders – such as Yigal *Allon, Moshe *Dayan, and Moshe *Carmel – received their first taste of warfare. As a result of the British government's anti-Zionist policy (expressed in the *White Paper of 1939), the Haganah took upon itself the additional task of fighting the White Paper regime. It supported organized *"illegal" immigration and organized demonstrations against the White Paper and the 1940 Land Laws. Opinion was divided as to whether the Haganah should limit itself to its former tasks or should become the spearhead of the political struggle. In fact, the Haganah did become actively involved in the struggle in all its forms, although at times within frameworks established for specific purposes, such as the organizations for "illegal" immigration (Ha-Mosad, 1939–48 and *Beriḥah, 1945–48), which did not act under the direct supervision of the Haganah command.
During World War ii, the Haganah acted in accordance with the policy laid down by David *Ben-Gurion, "to fight the war as if there were no White Paper, and to fight the White Paper as if there were no war." From the summer of 1940, the Haganah also headed a movement of volunteers from which Jewish units were formed for service in the British Army (these units took part in campaigns in the Middle East, North Africa, Greece, and Italy), as well as the Jewish battalions that led to the creation of the *Jewish Brigade in 1944. Haganah members strove to add national character to the Jewish units and to have them commanded by Jewish officers, many of whom were Haganah men. For Haganah members, British army service meant not only participation in the fight against the Nazis, but also first-class military training. They learned methods of organization and command of large armed units, as well as branches of warfare that could not be taught in an underground framework (for example, the use of heavy artillery). The Haganah cooperated with British intelligence units and sent its men on various commando missions, such as the attempted sabotage of the Syrian oil refineries, in which 23 men were lost, in 1941. Another example of this cooperation was the dropping of some 30 Jewish parachutists behind enemy lines in Europe.
The Haganah further strengthened its independence during the war by establishing its own intelligence service which systematically followed all developments in the Arab community, the British administration, and the Jewish dissident groups (iẒl and *Loḥamei Ḥerut Israel (Leḥi)) that affected the yishuv's security. Haganah members were divided into two main forces, one in charge of the defense of the settlements and the other trained for active warfare in all areas of the country. A systematic program of training was instituted for the youth of the country both in the legal framework of Ḥagam (intensified physical education), and the illegal one of *Gadna (youth battalions). In 1941 the Haganah's first mobilized regiment, the *Palmaḥ, came into being. Its men were mobilized for a two-year period and quartered in various work camps all over the country, where they underwent military training and simultaneously earned their keep by working in nearby kibbutzim and villages.
The war years saw many open clashes between the Haganah and the British Mandatory authorities, when the latter carried out searches for arms, as well as arrests and trials of Haganah members. In the final years of the war, the Haganah was faced with a difficult task: it was asked by the Jewish Agency to intervene and prevent iẒl sabotage of British installations, which was not in accord with Jewish Agency policy at that time. The mission (called "ha-sezon"), executed in conjunction with British police, was distasteful to those who participated in it. At the end of the war, when it became clear that the British government had no intention of altering its anti-Zionist policy, the Haganah began an open, organized struggle against the British Mandatory rule in the framework of a unified Jewish Resistance Movement (Tenu'at ha-Meri ha-Ivri), consisting of Haganah, iẒl, and Leḥi. "Illegal" immigration was intensified by the establishment of Haganah branches in the Jewish DP camps, and the Beriḥah was organized, bringing refugees from Eastern Europe to the camps in Central Europe and Italy. Haganah members accompanied the immigrant boats as sailors and organizers on their way to Ereẓ Israel and the camps in Cyprus. The systematic sabotage of all British army and police installations in Palestine began with the countrywide sabotage of the railroad network in November 1945 and reached its climax with the "Night of the Bridges" in June 1946, when all the bridges on the country's borders were blown up. On "Black Saturday" (June 29, 1946) and thereafter, countrywide searches were carried out by the British armed forces, one of the purposes of which was to disable the Haganah by arresting Palmaḥ members and uncovering its arms caches. jdc the Jewish Agency gave orders to limit the extent of the struggle, the iẒl and Leḥi again broke away from the Jewish Resistance Movement.
In the spring of 1947, David Ben-Gurion assumed the task of preparing the Haganah for the possible showdown with the armed forces of Arabs in Palestine and those of the Arab states. Plans were laid for full-scale mobilization of the yishuv, the founding of an air force, and the expansion of arms manufacture and acquisition. An important step in this direction was the purchase in the U.S. of machinery for the production of ammunition and explosives. In the first months of the War of Independence, the Haganah became the regular army of the State of Israel. Complete mobilization was declared; seven divisions were organized by fusing British army experience and Haganah fighting practices; and the Palmaḥ was expanded into three brigades. A large armaments industry was created and heavy arms and planes were acquired. An air force and a navy came into existence. After lengthy discussions the members of iẒl and Leḥi were incorporated into the Haganah's forces.
In the spring of 1948, the Haganah went over from defensive to offensive warfare, occupying areas essential for the yishuv's security: "Operation Naḥshon" opened the road to besieged Jerusalem, while other operations liberated Tiberias, Haifa, Safed, Jaffa, and other areas. On May 26 the Provisional Government of Israel decided to transform the Haganah into the regular army of the State, to be called "Ẓeva Haganah le-Israel" ("Israel Defense Forces"). During the 70 years prior to the establishment of the State, a Jewish fighting force had come into being, the image of the Jewish fighter had been created, and a fighting tradition developed.
Israel Defense Forces
The Israel Defense Forces (abbr. idf; Heb. צְבָא הֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל; Ẓeva Haganah le-Israel; abbr. צה״ל, Ẓahal) were established on May 26, 1948, by the provisional government of the State of Israel, and on May 31, 1948, the first official oath-taking ceremony took place. It is unique in the armies of the world in the degree to which it has succeeded in eliminating distance between itself and the people that it serves; indeed it is an organic part of the people. This closeness results from the fact that the idf is essentially based on reserve service of the civilian population. Accordingly, and primarily due to this reason, it has not developed into a standard professional army but has retained more of the pre-state character of a popular militia. Because of its popular character and the fact that the youth of the country, without exception, have to pass through its ranks, the idf has proved to be one of the most important factors in effecting the integration of the various cultural elements of the population of Israel. In the early days of the state, the idf probably had more influence in this respect than any other single element, and today it is on a par with the school system in bringing about national integration. It has taken an active part in the educational integration of the new immigrants in the country by conducting intensive courses to raise all ranks to a minimum educational standard and by allocating women teachers to immigrant villages with a view to raising the standard of education there. The army continues to supply these services as well as providing additional facilities for more advanced education of its officers and men up to and including university education. In times of national stress (not only military) the idf has been in the forefront. The great waves of immigration in the early 1950s, which posed major organizational problems, were successfully absorbed with the help of the army, which also assisted in conducting welfare activities in the immigrant camps.
terms of service
From its inception, Israel established a system of compulsory military service that requires both men and women of certain ages to report for varying periods. Men aged 18–55 (inclusive) and women aged 18–38 (inclusive) – Israel citizens and permanent residents of the country – were liable for service. The law governing military service is the Security Service Law, 1959. The idf comprises three types of service: conscript service, reserve service, and regular service. Men aged 18–29 (inclusive), women aged 18–26 (inclusive), and licensed medical practitioners aged 18–38 (inclusive – both men and women), were deemed liable for conscript service. From the late 1960s, the period of service for conscript males aged 18–26 was 36 months and for males aged 27–29, 24 months; new immigrants aged 27–29 served 18 months. The period of service for women was 24 months, later reduced to 21 months. The minister of defense is authorized to recognize service in the Border Police as military service within the framework of the law.
On conclusion of his conscript service, every soldier is assigned to a reserve unit. Within the framework of the law, a reservist could be called for service one day per month or alternatively three days per three months. The law set out maximum periods of service as follows: men in the rank of private (turai) and lance corporal (turai rishon) aged 18–39 (inclusive) 31 days per annum, and those aged 40–54, 14 days per annum. Corporals (rav turai) and above could be asked to serve an additional seven days to the above periods. Privates and lancecorporals of the women's forces were liable for 31 days per annum and corporals and above for an additional seven days service per annum. Men aged 45–54 were liable for service only in the Civil Defense organization (later replaced by the Homeland Command), unless their rank was that of second lieutenant (segen mishneh) and above or the reservist's specialization was a required one, as determined by the minister of defence in accordance with the regulations of the law.
In addition to the monthly and annual reserve service, every reservist is liable for what is known as "Special Service." The minister of defense may, if he is satisfied that the defense of the state so requires, mobilize any reservist for conscript or reserve service in such locations and for such periods as his order specifies. This order can be a general one or can refer to specific units or specific persons. In the event that such an order is issued, the minister of defense is required to bring it to the knowledge of the *Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee as soon as possible. The committee may or may not approve the order with or without changes, or may bring it before the Knesset. It lapses within 14 days if not approved by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee or by the Knesset before the conclusion of the stated period. Such an order, extending service for men to 36 months, was issued in January 1968.
Mothers and pregnant women are exempt from national service within the framework of the Security Service Law. Married women are exempt from conscript service but not from reserve service. The law provides for the exemption of women from service on the basis of religious reasons.
The tendency in the early 2000s was to cut back on reserve service, for which purpose the appropriate legislation was being drafted.
composition of the idf
The idf is composed of three elements: regular officers and ncos; the standing army, which is composed of the regular officers, ncos, and conscripts; and reserve forces, which are mobilized at any given time. Officers and ncos may volunteer for regular service in the armed forces after they have completed their conscript service. They can commit themselves for varying periods ranging from one to five years. Their conditions of service, rates of pay, and so on are linked to those prevailing in the government civil service. The mandatory age of retirement is 55, but regulars who have completed a minimum of ten years' service and have reached the age of 40 may be authorized by the chief of staff to retire on partial pension, based on the payment of 2% per annum of service and related to their last rank.
organization of the forces
The idf is subject to the orders of the government of Israel and carries out its policy. The minister of defense is responsible to the government and issues the instructions of the civilian authority to the armed forces. A special ministerial defense committee deals in detail with defense problems on behalf of the Cabinet. Military matters in the Knesset are dealt with, usually in closed session, by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which also deals, jointly with the Finance Committee, with budgetary matters related to the armed forces. The Ministry of Defense includes the minister of defense's personal staff and is divided into departments dealing with the following subjects: procurement of weapons and equipment; research and development; military industries; the aircraft industries; and manpower problems, such as rehabilitation, disabled ex-servicemen, responsibility for service widows and orphans, and military cemeteries; building and properties; sales; data-processing units; foreign aid; youth and *Naḥal division; *Gadna division; public relations; shekem ("canteen services"); soldiers' welfare committee; legal advice; and financial control. The senior military authority is the chief of staff, who commands all the armed forces. The chief of staff is appointed by the minister of defense, after advising the government. The period of service of the chief of staff is usually three to four years.
The idf is an integrated organization controlling the land, sea, and air forces. Operationally, the armed forces are divided into three regional ground commands, Northern, Central, and Southern, in addition to the air force and the navy. The commanders of the air force and the navy are at the same time senior advisers to the chief of staff in their respective functions. The chief of staff heads the General Staff, which functions in the general headquarters of the idf. This organization is responsible for carrying out the security policy of the State of Israel and for controlling the idf in times of war and peace. On occasion there has been a vice chief of staff. Failing such an appointment, the chief of the General Staff Branch replaces the chief of staff in his absence.
The General Staff is divided into four branches. The General Staff Branch, headed by a major general, who is the senior of the chiefs of branch, is responsible for coordination with the General Staff and for the operational control of the armed forces, including training, planning, operations, and research and development. The Intelligence Branch, headed by a brigadier or major general, is responsible for the collection, collation, and dissemination of all military, political, and economic information that might be of interest to the General Staff for the purpose of planning and operations. It is also responsible for security within the armed forces, censorship, the official army spokesman, liaison with foreign attachés, and the appointment of Israel military attachés abroad. The Manpower Branch, headed by a brigadier or major general, is responsible for the mobilization of the manpower required by the idf, for the assignment of men to units, for planning and control of manpower, education, personal services, discipline, information, religious and medical services, etc. The Quartermaster General Branch, headed by a brigadier or major general, is responsible for the organization of the supply of equipment, arms, food, clothing, housing, etc., for the maintenance of emergency stores, and for the readiness of all administrative emergency organizations falling within its area of responsibility.
In addition to the regional commands and the air force and navy, the commanders of which hold the rank of major general and control all the forces within their particular command, there are a number of specific commands.
Naḥal is a special organization, unique to the idf. Its initials stand for No'ar Ḥaluẓi Loḥem ("Fighting Pioneer Youth"). New settlement was considered important in Ereẓ Israel from a security point of view, especially in the border areas. With this consideration in mind, a special corps was established that combined military and agricultural training and also engaged in the establishment of new settlements along the borders. Upon conclusion of military service, those Naḥal soldiers who wished to return to civilian life did so, while others remained and continued to live in the kibbutz. As long as a new settlement was not self-supporting, it remained within Naḥal, under military discipline and tied organically to the army. jdc the settlement developed and began to be self-supporting, it was transferred by the army to the civilian authority and became a civilian village. Starting in the 1980s, however, a transition began toward regular service in the infantry within the Naḥal framework, which in 1999 became part of the Central Command. About 10 percent of Naḥal soldiers continued to serve in settlement frameworks.
Gadna, the abbreviation for Gedudei No'ar ("Youth Battalions"), dealt with premilitary training of Israel youth in and out of school. The organization was essentially educational in nature, although it provided its members with some basic military training in various arms. Members of Gadna assisted in afforestation projects, archaeological excavations, and border kibbutzim. Gadna was designed to develop a spirit of constructive patriotism and to identify the army primarily with construction and not with destruction. In the early 1990s it merged with the Education Corps (see below).
The Training Command sets the training objectives of the General Staff and controls and operates all the military schools and training bases within the idf.
The Armored Command is directly under the command of the General Staff. It is entrusted with the task of developing the armored strength of the idf and its doctrine, training programs, and equipment.
Ḥen (Ḥeil Nashim; "Women's Corps") was essentially an auxiliary military organization supporting the armed forces in many fields. It supplied women for duties in communications, hospitals, teaching duties, and many other headquarters functions, and thus relieved the men of the country for active combat. In 2004 the corps was abolished as women sought to become fully integrated in the army, including combat service.
A special arrangement to accommodate modern Orthodox religious soldiers is hesder service, which combines regular army service with yeshivah study over a period of four years in which those in the program serve actively for 16 months. Another religious framework, created in 1999, is known as Naḥal Ḥaredi, in which ultra-Orthodox soldiers serve in a special battalion which enables them to adhere more easily to their religious way of life. In 2005 it numbered around 1,000 soldiers.
the minorities in the idf
Members of the minorities may, under certain circumstances, volunteer for service in the idf and in the Border Police. The Border Police Force is completely integrated between Jews and *Druze, and many Druze have attained officer rank. The Druze community is now liable for conscription into the idf in the same manner as members of the Jewish community. Until a few years ago this community was permitted to volunteer for service, but at the specific request of the Druze community itself the National Service Law imposing conscription was applied to its members. Bedouin and members of the Christian Arab community may volunteer for service. The idf includes a Minorities Unit in which Druze and Christian Arabs serve. A certain percentage of members of the unit are Jewish, and the unit has served with distinction in many border operations.
Troops serving in the idf are assigned to various army corps, which are responsible for the professional and technical training of officers and the enlisted men and the development of equipment and the doctrines of the various arms. These corps include the air force, navy, infantry, armor, artillery, engineers, paratroops, signals and communications, intelligence, ordnance, supply, medical, military police, general service corps, and homeland. The formations directly under the General Staff are the regional commands, the navy and the air force, and the armored forces. The basic formation in the idf is the brigade group. Any number of brigade groups can be combined under the command of divisional groupings in time of war.
The static defense of the country is based on a regional defense system that is controlled by a special staff in the headquarters of the regional command. Various border villages are trained as defensive localities. The villages are controlled by an area headquarters, which in turn is under command of a district headquarters, which is controlled by the special staff for regional defense in command headquarters. The purpose of this organization is to ensure that the armed forces will be relieved of the task of static defense and will be thus free to engage the enemy in battle. The air force is responsible for the entire air defense of the country, and the navy is responsible for all aspects of coastal defense.
The armed forces support a training establishment that provides for every form of training in all arms of service, from the initial training of a private up to and including Command General Staff School. A number of army personnel are sent abroad annually for training. The basic theme of the training given to the personnel of the idf emphasizes the necessity for personal initiative and the importance of the officers and ncos displaying personal example in leadership. Great emphasis in all facets of leadership training is placed on this point and on the fact that the officer must always lead his men into battle. In fact, these values have developed into a living tradition of which the idf is very proud. The idf assists the training of armies in Asia, South America, and Africa, particularly in fields such as commando and parachute training and specific programs such as Naḥal and Gadna.
education in the forces
The idf exercises a profound educational influence not only on the youth during their national service but also on those who come in contact with the army during periods of reserve duty. Owing to the close relationship between army and people, which became even closer during the years of almost continuous military activity following the Six-Day War, each had a considerable influence on the other. The idf's educational work is of particular importance for new immigrants, for whom it is often a basic training in citizenship.
There are three main branches under the control of the Chief Education Officer: Instruction, Education, Entertainment. The primary responsibility for regular educational and cultural activity rests on officers and ncos, who are trained for the task at the Military College of Education and the Educational Training Institute respectively, and provided with topical printed material. The idf publishes an illustrated weekly of current events Ba-Maḥaneh, and runs a radio program, Gallei Ẓahal, which "sandwiches" news, information, reportage, and comment between layers of popular music and entertainment. Both are served by army reporters with the troops.
All soldiers who do not have a basic knowledge of Hebrew must study the language in the normal course of their training and service, as well as at special intensive courses. Those who have not completed elementary education (eight years' study) attend three-month courses in Hebrew, history, geography, civics, arithmetic and geometry, nature study, and army history at the Army Education School (the Marcus Camp) at the end of their national service, receiving certificates recognized by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Optional post-primary courses, mainly for regular army men, prepare them for the official matriculation certificate. There are also correspondence courses, which can be taken during periods of active service. In the late 1970s a new framework was created, the Center for the Advancement of Special Populations, to help disadvantaged recruits. Hundreds of women ncos were deployed as instructors. In the 1980s a Corps Training School was established to train its educational leadership. In 1993 the Corps merged with Gadna as the integration of Russian and Ethiopian immigrants became a first priority.
The idf publishes a wide variety of brochures and books on various regions and sectors, Diaspora Jewry, history of Israel, etc., and a series of low-priced, small paperbacks of Hebrew and translated fiction, called "Sifriyyat Tarmil" ("Knapsack Library"). Soldiers in camps and at the front are supplied with daily newspapers, books, games, radio and, wherever possible, tv. Films are shown about twice a week and civilian entertainers perform frequently for soldiers at the front, sometimes in the framework of reserve service.
arms purchase and manufacture
From the early days the idf was dependent to no small degree for arms supplies on foreign sources. The story of "Rekhesh" – as the "acquisition" of arms was called from the clandestine Haganah period and immediately after the establishment of the State – is a thrilling one. The first major arms purchase directly affecting the future army of Israel was that from Czechoslovakia in 1948, which included rifles, machine guns, and, later, Messerschmitt fighter planes. At the same time arms were purchased in France and from the surplus markets of the United States as well as those of many other countries. Until the British left the arms were smuggled into Palestine despite a British embargo. Supplies continued to arrive after the establishment of the State, primarily from the military surplus markets of the world.
In 1952, Israel formally signed an agreement with the United States government allowing for reimbursable military aid under Section 408e of the Mutual Security Act, but the U.S. remained a very small supplier. Israel's first jet aircraft, Meteors, were supplied by Britain, which also became in due course a major supplier of naval equipment, primarily destroyers and submarines. The 1950s saw the development of a special relationship between Israel and France, which became Israel's major arms supplier, providing aircraft, armor, and artillery. France remained Israel's main supplier of arms – above all, of modern jet aircraft – until June 2, 1967, jdc an embargo on the sale of arms to Israel was imposed by General de Gaulle.
The United States involvement in the supply of arms to Israel grew in the 1960s, with the supply, first, of Hawk ground-to-air missiles and, later, of Patton m48 tanks, which together with British-supplied Centurion tanks constituted Israel's armored force. The United States became a major supplier of aircraft to Israel only after the Six-Day War and following the French embargo. U.S. supplies, which included f-4 Phantom fighter bombers and a-4 Skyhawk fighter bombers, were designed to offset the massive supply of arms by the Soviet Union to the Egyptian and Syrian forces.
From the earliest days Israel made efforts to develop her own arms industry and in the course of years a major industry, capable of supplying most of the small arms and ammunition requirements of the idf, as well as other types, was established. Parallel to this, Israel Aircraft Industries was established with a large electronic manufacturing component capable of assembling jet trainers and maintaining all the types of aircraft in service in the Israel Air Force.
The first idf uniforms (1948) were to a large degree identical with those of the British army during World War ii, though the symbols of rank were different. Over the years, the idf developed uniforms that specifically answer to its needs, but influences of style from Western armies (Britain and the United States) are still noticeable. The basic colors of the winter uniform – dark khaki (army), blue-gray (air force), and dark blue (navy) – are of "Anglo-Saxon" origin, as are the beige and white of the summer uniforms (British origin). The official dress uniform has been influenced to a large degree by the United States; the cut of the daily uniforms and caps, however, generally follows the British model: the black and red berets of the idf follow the example of the British armored and paratroop corps, while the combat helmets follow the American model. The idf nonetheless aims toward developing an original style of uniform, especially for the women soldiers. The symbols of rank for ncos are mostly original (straight horizontal stripes in place of the angular stripes in Britain and America); in the lower ranks of commissioned officers, American influence is felt somewhat; and in the higher ranks (major and up), British influence is distinguishable.
The idf came into being during the Israel *War of Independence (1948), jdc seven Arab armies combined to invade the newly created state. A number of outstanding battles were fought, particularly those leading to the defeat of the Egyptian army in the Negev desert and in Sinai, the defeat of the Arab armies in Galilee, and the defense of Jerusalem. The armistice agreements concluded with Israel's neighbors in 1949 were not followed by the hoped-for peace, however, and from 1953 Israel was beset by Arab marauder activity designed to kill and sabotage within the country. As a result, a number of successful retaliatory actions were mounted by the idf, with the Paratroop Corps in the lead, against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. This state of affairs culminated in the *Sinai Campaign of 1956, in which the idf defeated the Egyptian army in the Sinai Desert and cleared the whole of the Sinai Peninsula.
In the following years the idf was again called upon to engage in a number of retaliatory and defense operations until the outbreak of the *Six-Day War in June 1967. In less than a week the idf destroyed the enemy air forces, defeated the Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian armies, and occupied the whole of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, Judea and Samaria on the West Bank of the Jordan, and the Syrian mountains known as the Golan Heights. Subsequently the idf was engaged in defending the cease-fire lines and protecting the country against attempts at terrorist infiltration.
The victory in the Six-Day War fostered a feeling of invincibility in the country that was to have dire consequences. Harboring a spirit of vast confidence in its ability to predict and stem any attack on Israel, the idf was taken completely by surprise in the *Yom Kippur War under a combined attack by Egyptian and Syrian forces that initially drove the idf from its positions on the Suez Canal and Golan Heights. Though it ultimately succeeded in driving Egyptian and Syrian forces back, the Yom Kippur War was a marked watershed in the development of the idf. As a result of the report of the Agranat Commission a number of senior officers were dismissed and David *Elazar, the chief of staff, submitted his resignation. His successor Major General Mordecai ("Motta") *Gur undertook the slow but steady rehabilitation and rearming of the forces, an unprecedented expansion in the size of the army, navy, and air force, and the absorption of vast amounts of new weapons, most of them from the United States. The idf was also busy withdrawing to new lines in the wake of the disengagement agreements with Egypt and Syria, the Interim Agreement with Egypt and the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of March 1979.
From 1975 the idf had been engaged in helping the Christian militia forces in southern Lebanon defend themselves against the plo. Following a murderous terrorist attack on an Israeli bus in March 1978, the idf launched an invasion into southern Lebanon that brought it to the banks of the Litani. The campaign lasted some days, but did not produce the anticipated results and the army withdrew in June 1978 after the arrival of a United Nations force (unifil). The conduct of the campaign was the subject of criticism by the Israel State Comptroller in his 1979 report. The term of office of General Gur terminated in April 1978 and he was replaced by Major General Rafael *Eitan, a veteran combat officer, who set out to tighten army discipline and instituted various austerity measures.
Israel's military industry produced various types of modern weapons for internal use and for export. Among the latest items manufactured in Israel were the Merkavah ("Chariot") tank, the Gabriel missile carriers, and the Wasp torpedo boats. Other rockets and missiles have won renown at home and abroad. The main activities in 1979 and 1980 were continued military operations against the plo in southern Lebanon, growing efforts to stem disturbances in the West Bank, and the growth of the idf, primarily in modern equipment. The signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty resulted in a massive re-deployment of the forces which were withdrawn from Sinai to the Negev. Operation "Rimon" was the code given to the removal from Sinai of tens of thousands of tons of materials, equipment, camps, water, and power lines and almost a million mines were lifted without mishap. The whole operation was carried out meticulously according to the pre-determined time schedule.
The peace treaty, however, did not bring in its wake the anticipated reduction in the defense budget. On the contrary, due to the uncertainties along Israel's Eastern border, the Iraq-Iran war, the support given by Jordan to Iraq, and the threat of a Syrian-Jordanian war, the idf had to maintain a high degree of alert along that border. Nevertheless, the Finance Ministry was demanding a major reduction in the defense budget in view of the serious economic situation. These demands were resisted first by Minister Ezer Weizman, and after his resignation, by Prime Minister Begin, who took over the Defense portfolio. The discussions concerning the establishment of a Field Forces Command, that started in 1979, which elicited many arguments pro and con, among the Israeli generals, had not been concluded as of 1980.
Israel's arms industries continued to mount their export drives, and it was estimated that in 1980 they would sell equipment abroad to a value of $125 m.
Tension continued along the Israel-Lebanon border in the early part of 1981. In July the Israel air force carried out massive bombing raids on plo headquarters in Beirut and on supply depots, installations, and offices in other parts of southern Lebanon. Massive destruction was reported. In the Beirut raid, scores of civilians were killed and wounded leading to a Security Council condemnation of Israel. From July 12 to 24, the entire northern part of Israel, from Nahariyyah to the Syrian line, came under heavy plo shelling, bombing, and firing. Thousands of artillery and mortar shells, as well as Katyusha and other types of rockets were fired indiscriminately, resulting in heavy damage and loss of lives in over 30 Israeli towns and settlements. Israel retaliated in kind and the situation deteriorated. A cease-fire was arranged on July 24 through the mediation efforts of U.S. envoy Philip Habib, who enlisted Saudi Arabia to help persuade the plo to accept the cease-fire. Cross-border shelling ceased, but the plo reportedly bolstered its artillery power and strengthened its armed units which at the end of 1981 numbered some 20,000 men.
The idf continued its orderly withdrawal from Sinai and its new deployment in the Negev. In November 1981 one of the two U.S. built air-bases was handed over to the Israel Air Force and became operational.
At the end of the year, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon announced his plan to reorganize the Defense Ministry in order to bring about better control and greater efficiency. This led to a work conflict with the civilian workers of the ministry. Major changes were also announced in the high command of the idf with the retirement of two generals and study leaves for two others. The term of office of Chief of Staff Raphael Eitan was extended to an unprecedented fifth year.
The next decade was marked by four major events. The first was the war in Lebanon (1982–85); the second was the slow withdrawal from Lebanon (1985); the third was the outbreak of the first Intifada (1987); and the fourth, Israel's experience during the 1991 Gulf War.
The decision to go to war in Lebanon was the result of many factors, among them the desire to put an end to the emerging plo mini-state in Southern Lebanon and the destruction of the plo forces, headquarters, and supply depots strewn throughout Southern Lebanon. There was a feeling that once the plo would disappear from the Middle Eastern scene, Israel would find it easier to negotiate with Palestinian leaders in the territories under its control who would be free to deal directly with Israel. There was hope that war in Lebanon would bring about Israel-Syria negotiations over the future of that country. Above all, there was the desire to free Galilee from the constant threat of shelling and attacks by plo elements. There was also the aspiration to bring about the creation of a central government in Lebanon, which would be able to demand the withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon and eventually sign a peace treaty with Israel.
The shooting of the Israel ambassador, Shelomoh Argov, in London by members of the Abu Nidal terrorist group on June 2, 1982, served as the reason for Israel to enter Lebanon on June 6, 1982. Announcing the military action and the codename "Peace in Galilee," Israel said it was aimed at clearing a zone of 40 miles from its borders from the plo. It stated that if Syrian forces would remain neutral, Israel would not attack them. Within one week, Israeli forces occupied most of Southern Lebanon, reaching the outskirts of Beirut. Hopes that the Lebanese Christian forces under the command of Basheer Gemayel, with whom prior coordination existed, would join the war did not materialize. The idf did engage Syrian troops in various parts of Lebanon, culminating in the destruction of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles and the shooting down of close to 100 Syrian jet fighters and bombers. jdc a cease-fire was proclaimed on June 11, the Israel Defense Forces (idf) deployed along the Beirut Damascus road and inside Beirut. It had captured vast quantities of plo equipment, including tanks and artillery. To induce Yasser Arafat, trapped in West Beirut, to leave the city, the idf began to besiege West Beirut. During June, July, and August sporadic fighting continued in Lebanon while Israeli and American diplomats sought a diplomatic solution that would enable the plo to depart from Lebanon. An arrangement was reached in late August and the plo withdrew on September 1, moving its headquarters to Tunis. Technically the war aims were achieved.
However, already in mid-June, there was growing dissent in Israel over the continued war in Lebanon and over its final aims. For the first time during the war, Israelis were questioning its aims and the real intent of the political leadership. The public was shocked jdc elements of the Lebanese Christian forces carried out a massacre of hundreds of Palestinians in two refugee camps Sabra and Shatilla in Beirut on September 16–18. A demonstration in Tel Aviv, with an estimated 400,000 protestors, forced the government to appoint a commission of inquiry. The final report of the Kahan Commission did not blame the idf for the massacre, but found it indirectly responsible for not anticipating the consequences of the Christian forces' entry into West Beirut. It recommended the removal of the defense minister and other senior officers from their posts. By then, there had been over 200 Israeli casualties in Lebanon. The impact of the war on the morale of the idf was highly negative. A new chief of staff, General Moshe Levy, replaced General Rafael Eitan in April 1983 and began to plan a slow disengagement in Lebanon. A political agreement entered into with Lebanon on May 17, 1983, enabled the idf to start a slow withdrawal south. In the next two years the idf remained in Southern Lebanon, becoming embroiled in ethnic conflict there, and the number of its casualties mounted. The Shamir government insisted on remaining in Lebanon until a political settlement would be worked out, refusing to admit that the war in Lebanon was erroneous and yielded few benefits. In retrospect it can be seen that the war did destroy the plo infrastructure in Lebanon, dealt a massive blow to the Syrian army, and resulted in the plo losing its predominant position in Palestinian politics. But the plo was replaced in Southern Lebanon by Shi'ite forces whose attacks on the idf caused many casualties and hastened the decision to withdraw from that country.
The decision was made by the Government of National Unity on January 14, 1985. The withdrawal was carried out in three stages and by the summer of 1985 idf units were deployed in the newly created Security Zone north of the Israel-Lebanon border. Between 1982 and 1985 Israeli casualties in Lebanon reached 651 dead and thousands wounded.
During the next two years, the Israel defense establishment, under Defense Minister Yiẓḥak Rabin, learned the lessons of the war in Lebanon, created the Territorial Forces Command, deepened strategic cooperation with the United States on many levels, and modernized the idf's equipment. In the ongoing war against terrorism, the idf carried out a daring aerial attack on the plo headquarters in Tunis on October 1, 1985.
Chief of Staff Moshe Levy completed his term of office in 1986 and was replaced by General Dan Shomron who continued to modernize the force and prepare it for any eventuality. Israel's main threat was seen to be from Syria, then busy building its own forces and seeking strategic parity with Israel. The continued Iraq-Iran war, a working peace with Egypt, and friendly relations with Jordan gave Israel a respite, and it could concentrate its efforts on stemming terrorist attacks against its own territories and against Israeli citizens and facilities overseas. Many achievements were recorded in that struggle.
At the end of 1987 the idf was plunged into another, and wholly new, arena. On December 9, 1987 Palestinian Arab rioting erupted which soon developed into an uprising known as the Intifada. It was led by young Palestinians who despaired of the prolonged Israeli occupation, the political deadlock, their own frustrations with both the local Palestinian leadership and that of the plo, and their despair over the failure of the Arab states to resolve their plight. The idf now had to deal with civil disobedience, initially with stones and sticks, and since 1991 with growing cases of shooting and stabbing of Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as well as inside Israel. Young Israeli recruits faced young Palestinians armed with stones, sticks, knives, and firearms. It was a new kind of struggle for which the idf was not prepared. Soon moral and ethical dilemmas arose. jdc can a soldier fire on Arabs? Should he carry out what he may consider an illegal order? There were a number of cases in which idf soldiers were court-martialed for illegal actions, including the killing of innocent bystanders. The Israeli settlers in the areas accused the idf of not being effective enough in protecting them and their settlements from attacks. Tension rose between the idf and the settlers. The idf sought to minimize the attacks on Israelis, but were unable to stem the growing tide of killing of Palestinians by terrorists who accused them of collaborating with Israel. Between January 1991 and April 1993, 151 Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed in the Intifada, while 1,500 Palestinians were killed by their own brethren.
The idf, under the command of General Ehud Barak (chief of staff from April 1990), insisted that the solution to the Intifada must be a political and not a military one. But it did employ various methods to combat the Intifada, among them deportation (including the mass deportation of 415 *Ḥamas (Muslim fundamentalists) activists in December 1992), blowing up of homes of terrorists, curfews on selected areas, and occasionally the sealing off of the entire territories from Israel. By early 1993 it appeared that the Intifada had assumed new dimensions, focusing more on killing of Israelis in the hope that public opinion would force the Rabin government to decide on unilateral withdrawal from the territories in general and from the Gaza Strip in particular.
The 1991 Gulf War caught Israel unprepared for Scud missile attacks against major urban centers. For the first time in its history, Israel did not mount a pre-emptive strike at enemy targets, neither did it retaliate after it was attacked. By so doing, Israel adhered to an American request not to become involved in the war against Saddam Hussein. In return it received additional U.S. military aid and weapons. During the war there was close cooperation between the Israel and American high commands, and Israel was given advance warnings of incoming Scuds. By sheathing its sword, Israel won international support and praises.
The Gulf War ushered in the era of missile warfare into the Middle East. It became obvious that another war would be fought with non-conventional weapons. Israel, in close cooperation with the United States, began developing its Arrow anti-missile missile, which underwent successful preliminary tests in 1992 and was due to be operational in the mid-1990s. One of the lessons drawn by the idf resulted in the establishment of the Home Front Command, to deal specifically with civil defense, as clearly the next war would not differentiate between soldier and civilians. The idf came under much criticism from the state comptroller for failure to provide the population with proper gas masks and other means of defense. Another consequence of the war was that with the diminution in Iraq's aggressive potential, Iran became considered as the major threat to Israel and to regional stability. Iran was the main backer of the Ḥamas, the fundamentalist Islamic group which opposed peace negotiations and a peace treaty with Israel. Reports of an Iranian nuclear weapons program meant that Israel had to find the adequate answer for the threat. Islamic fundamentalism had become the main danger to the governments of Israel, Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia, as well as Algeria and Morocco. The idf was poised at the end of 1992 to deal with continued Intifada, the consequences of a peace process, and preparations for a possible future war that could utilize nonconventional weapons. In spite of the end of the Cold War and the disappearance of the Soviet Union as a major factor in the Middle East, certain Arab states that previously relied on the U.S.S.R. for their armaments now sought weapons elsewhere and began to purchase surplus Soviet equipment and new weapons produced by China and North Korea. The arms race in the region continued despite efforts to stem it and talk about arms reduction within the framework of the Madrid peace process.
While the Israel Defense Forces were not involved in the 1993 secret negotiations that led to the Oslo Accords and the Israel-plo Declarations of Principles, they became intimately involved in the negotiations for their implementation. Thus the idf played a key role in the planning and execution of the withdrawal from Gaza and Jericho in May 1994 and in drawing up plans for re-deployment in the West Bank. At the same time, it continued to train its soldiers in the latest weapons systems, acquire modern military technology, and adjust its size and philosophy to the emerging peace process in the Middle East. While the threat from the immediate neighboring countries receded gradually, with Israel and Syria holding negotiations for the future of the Golan Heights, Iraq and Iran loomed high as Israel's major strategic threats. The growing possibility of both these countries acquiring nuclear capability in addition to the development of other non-conventional weapons, forced the idf to devise new strategies to deal with this threat.
The idf continued to fight an almost daily war of attrition in Southern Lebanon against *Hizbollah terrorists who were armed and funded by Iran and tacitly aided by Syria. This was reflected in daily clashes causing casualties on both sides. Growing violence and the shelling of Israeli settlements in Galilee forced the idf to launch, in July 1993, Operation Accountability, during which time Lebanese civilian population abetting Hizbollah was driven north. The United States arranged an understanding whereby Israeli settlements would not be shelled. This arrangement, which had the tacit support of Syria, seemed to work, but did not prevent clashes in the Security Zone in Southern Lebanon.
Lt. General Amnon Likpkin-Shahak was appointed chief of staff on January 1, 1995, replacing Lt. General Ehud Barak. The new deputy chief of staff was Major General Matan Vilnai. Both had to deal increasingly with problems of how to keep the idf out of Israeli politics, a growing number of training and other accidents, and the eroding image of the idf, an organization which previously was above national debate. They were also charged with the task of building a smaller, more compact, highly modern and efficient army. Whereas in 1985 the defense budget was some 45% of the national budget, in 1995 it dropped to some 25%, reflecting the new national realities and priorities.
[Meron Medzini (2nd ed.)]
The War against Terrorism
Many important military and political events occurred during the post-Oslo period, but the focus of the period was the violent conflict between Palestinian terrorist groups and the Israeli army. Terrorist groups operated with the support of Yasser *Arafat. The beginning of this period was marked by mixed feelings of apprehension, doubts, and hopes that the peace process would bring an end to the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These hopes, which were accompanied by political measures, gave Europe and the United States confidence that a stable peace would finally be achieved in the Middle East. The Oslo Accords were seen as a milestone in achieving a settlement between the Palestinians and Israel. It was hoped that a peace treaty between the Palestinians and Israel would achieve stability in the Middle East. This was especially true after a peace treaty that was signed between Egypt and Israel (1981) and between Jordan and Israel (1994). However, these hopes were shattered. Instead of the Accords being implemented, hostile Palestinian terror activity broke out. Between 1995 and 2000, relations between the *Palestinian Authority (pa) and Israel were characterized by a lack of good faith and by instability. As time went on, it became clear to the State of Israel that the pa was not capable of implementing the agreement. This was due to the fact that the pa was incapable of preventing terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. According to the agreements, Arafat had undertaken to prevent all terrorist activity, but as time went on it became clear that not only was he not preventing terror activity but he was supporting it. The trust between the Israelis and the Palestinians evaporated, and it became impossible to implement the other agreements after the Oslo Accords.
In September 2000, mk Ariel Sharon made a highly publicized visit to the Temple Mount. The visit aroused great anger among the Palestinians, who saw it as a threat to their control of the al-Aqsa mosque there, and brought on the beginning of the so-called al-Aqsa Intifada. The violence sparked by Sharon's visit became the moving force in the Palestinian war of terror. It escalated into a hostile conflict between the idf and terrorist groups operating from the Gaza strip, Judea, and Samaria against the citizens of Israel. Instead of promoting the Oslo Accords, the idf was forced to take military action against terrorist groups. The mission of the idf was to fight and eliminate terrorist activity in order to restore security and peace to the citizens of Israel. The 1995–2005 period was characterized by the integration of political and military activities in which the prime minister and the chief of staff were involved.
The idf, as the operative arm, which works under political directives, had become the main body fighting Palestinian terror. This was especially true because of the phenomenon of "suicide bombers." The situation in this period created instability in Israeli society. The ordinary Israeli citizen felt less secure, and the future of the Oslo Accords was cast into doubt. The lack of stability in the political sphere caused a split in Israeli society. This is reflected in the fact that during this period there were five different governments. For the first time in Israel's history a prime minister was assassinated as a result of the mounting tension. The idf's response to Palestinian insurgence terror was Operation Defensive Shield, which began on March 29, 2002. In a matter of days the idf had taken control of all the cities of the West Bank, in order to wipe out terrorism and prevent the suicide bombings. By the middle of 2004, the idf found itself in control of all of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. For the first time since the beginning of the Intifada, there was a sharp decline in the amount of terrorist activity. However, in spite of the fact that the idf had left Lebanon (2000), Israel still faced a threat from Hizbollah on the northern border, and the threat from the West Bank and Gaza Strip remained potentially explosive. In August 2005 the idf withdrew from the Gaza Strip as well, after dismantling the Israeli settlements there (see *Gush Katif).
1995–2000. Many events preceded this period both in the political and military arena. In September 1992 the first Oslo Accords were signed. It was emphasized in this agreement that the Palestinian Authority recognized Israel's right to exist and took responsibility for preventing terrorist attacks against Israel and its citizens. Israel recognized the fact that the establishment of the Palestinian Authority would be the first step towards the establishment of a Palestinian state. The obstacles that remained in implementing these agreements were the status of Jerusalem, the refugee problem, and the future borders of the Palestinian state. Parallel to the Oslo Accords, Hizbollah continued its terrorist activities along the northern border. After the idf redeployed in 1985 along the security strip in south Lebanon, the army continued fighting terror with the cooperation of the residents of south Lebanon. As a result of Hizbollah's increased terror activity, the idf stepped up its defensive activity in the security zone. This activity included patrols, ambushes, and raids to eliminate the terrorist leaders, with the massive use of aircraft, tanks, and artillery. From 1991 Hizbollah began to launch Katyusha rockets against Jewish settlements along the northern border, especially Kiryat Shemonah. After a massive attack of Katyusha rockets, Israel responded with a campaign called Operation Accountability (Din ve-Ḥeshbon) commencing July 23, 1993. During this campaign, the Israeli Air Force attacked Hizbollah strongholds, Shi ʾ ite villages, and the cities of Tyre and Sidon. Fifty terrorists were killed and 3,000 citizens fled to the capital city of Beirut. After six days of fighting, both sides agreed to prevent attacks from their sides of the border. Between 1991 and 1995, 6,532 terrorist operations were carried out against the Israeli army in which 77 soldiers were killed and 392 wounded. Parallel to the terrorist activity on the northern border, Palestinian terrorist organizations began to attack civilian targets in Israel's big cities. The Ḥamas, the Islamic Jihad, and later the Tanzim (al-Aqsa Brigades) began to use suicide bombers. The first suicide bombing occurred on April 16, 1993, jdc a car driven by a suicide bomber exploded near a group of soldiers in the vicinity of Beit El. From April 1993 to December 2000, hundreds of terrorist acts took place inside Israel, 20 of which were by suicide bombers. The main suicide bombings took place in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanyah, and Afulah. In these bombings, 240 people were killed. Yitzhak Rabin, as prime minister, Ehud Barak, the chief of staff, and Amnon Lipkin-Shahak as his deputy, realized that terrorism had become a strategic threat to the existence of Israel. For the first time, fundamentalist Islamic Palestinian terror was defined as the main threat to Israel's existence. The idf began to prepare for a war against terror, especially against the suicide bombers. On February 25, 1995, Dr. Baruch Goldstein, a resident of Kiryat Arba, entered the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron with a semi-automatic weapon and killed 29 Palestinians praying in the mosque. In addition, another 101 Arabs were wounded. This event increased the tension between the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel. On May 4, 1994, the Cairo Agreement was signed between the pa and the government of Israel. This was a continuation of the Oslo Accords. According to this agreement, the Israeli government agreed to turn the control of the Gaza Strip and Jericho over to the pa. The continuation of suicide bombings proved to the Israeli government that Yasser Arafat was not capable of preventing terror attacks. This meant that Arafat was not able to fulfill the main condition of the Oslo Accords. As a result of the terror activity a large segment of Israeli society opposed the Oslo Accords. In spite of the great opposition to the Oslo process, Israel signed another interim agreement with the pa called Oslo B. On September 28, 1995, Rabin and Yasser Arafat signed the agreement with the backing of the U.S., Russia, the European Union, President Mubarak of Egypt, and King Hussein of Jordan. Ehud Barak, the chief of staff, had reservations about the agreement because he did not believe that the pa would be able to carry it out. Under the direction of Rabin the army began to plan its redeployment in Judea and Samaria. The redeployment was carried out by Central Command headquarters of the idf. It was based on the Oslo B agreement stipulating that the idf was to withdraw from all the major cities in Judea and Samaria and to transfer control to the pa. The redeployment plan was called Keshet Zeva'im ("Colors of the Rainbow"). In order to ensure security in Judea and Samaria, the idf set up headquarters outside the cities. Division headquarters in Judea and Samaria now had under its authority six new brigade headquarters, dozens of battalion headquarters, and dozens of company headquarters. The new deployment expressed itself in the division of responsibility between the idf and the pa according to Oslo b. The major Palestinian cities were defined as Area a in which the pa was responsible for security and civilian administration. The areas outside the Palestinian cities, which included most of the Palestinian villages, were defined as Area b. In these areas, administrative authority was in the hands of the pa but security was the responsibility of the idf. The rest of the area was defined as Area C and under the full control of Israel. The deployment of the idf was based on three important principles: securing the main roads for Israeli settlers; the protection of settlements; and continuing anti-terrorist activities. The idf began to patrol the main arteries of Israeli transportation. In order to increase security on these roads, access to some of them was denied to the Palestinians. To ensure the security of the settlers, every settlement was given military reinforcement. In addition, patrol roads, security fences, watchtowers, and sometimes even tanks were positioned in the periphery of the settlements. To control the movement of the Palestinians, the idf deployed over a hundred checkpoints along the main roads of Judea and Samaria. The Ministry of Defense even invested money in armored buses for schoolchildren as well as armored ambulances and had armored convoys accompany them.
In October 1994, a peace treaty was signed between Jordan and the State of Israel. This treaty changed the perception of security along their common border. Division and brigade commanders began to have regular meetings. A hotline was set up between the two armies to coordinate military activities along both sides of the border. In spite of the improved relations, Jordanian-Palestinian soldiers fired upon Israeli patrols along the border. jdc in May 1996 a group of terrorists killed three Israeli soldiers, Israeli and Jordanian soldiers worked together in Jordanian territory to eliminate the terrorists. The political conflict within Israeli led to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995, at a mass rally in support of the Oslo agreement. After this terrible event, Shimon Peres became prime minister. Terrorist activities including suicide bombings continued. On February 25, 1996, a suicide bomber blew himself up on a bus in Jerusalem killing 26 people. Along with Palestinian terrorist activity, the Hizbollah continued its operations along the northern border, which included a massive attack of Katyusha rockets against Israeli settlements. At the beginning of 1996, as a result of the rocket attacks, the settlements on the northern border had become in effect hostages of the Hizbollah. In response, the idf undertook Operation Grapes of Wrath (Invei Za'am) in southern Lebanon. The aim of this operation was to eliminate Hizbollah strongholds, to destabilize civilian life, and to put pressure on the Lebanese government to put an end to Hizbollah activities.
In this operation, the idf used all of its forces, which included massive airpower, tanks, artillery, and the navy. During the course of the operation, 770 Katyusha rockets fell on Israel. Twenty-four citizens were wounded and three were killed. In the midst of Israel's massive artillery attack, a Lebanese village, Kefar Kana, was mistakenly hit and approximately 100 people were killed. Another hundred were injured. Under the auspices of the Security Council, an understanding was reached between Israel, Lebanon, and Syria under which Lebanon and Syria would prevent the launching of Katyusha rockets against Israel. In this operation the idf demonstrated its tremendous capability in coordinating naval, air, and ground forces. Palestinian terror activity, parallel to the terror activity of the Hizbollah, forced the army to change its deployment and methods of warfare against terror. This was especially true as far as the suicide bombers were concerned. To achieve this aim, the idf increased its forces, set up new military units, and increased the cooperation with the regular and border police in fighting terror.
In May 1996, Benyamin Netanyahu (Likud) was elected prime minister of Israel, and Yiẓḥak Mordecai was appointed minister of defense. At the end of September, in spite of the objections of the General Security Service, Netanyahu ordered the opening of the northern gate of the tunnel leading to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This led to violent demonstrations in which 15 Israeli soldiers were killed, as well as 60 Palestinian soldiers and policemen. As a result, a summit meeting was held with Netanyahu, Arafat, King Hussein, and President Clinton participating. This summit led to the signing of the Hebron Agreement on January 17, 1997. By the end of the month, the idf had withdrawn from most of Hebron, except for Kiryat Arba, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and the Jewish Quarter (Bet Hadassah).
Suicide bombings carried out by so-called shahidim (martyrs) continued. In the summer of 1997, two suicide bombings took place in which 21 Jerusalemites were killed. The terrorist activities of the Islamic Jihad and the Ḥamas caused the idf to increase its presence in the main city centers. Netanyahu ordered the Mossad to eliminate Halad Mashal, one of the leaders of the Ḥamas. The attempt to assassinate him in Amman failed, and proved to be a great embarrassment for Israel. To improve relations, Israel agreed to Jordan's request to release Palestinian prisoners. Among them was Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the leader of the Ḥamas in Gaza.
In February 1997, while transporting soldiers from Mahanaim in northern Israel to south Lebanon, two helicopters collided while flying above the settlement of She'ar Yashuv. Seventy-three fighters, officers, and crew were killed. It was the worse air disaster in the history of the Israeli Air Force. As a result, the air force commander decided to appoint a senior officer as coordinator of helicopter units. In addition, as part of the preparation of Israel's defense against future threats, the Israel Space Agency began a program to launch space satellites. In coordination with nasa, an Israeli astronaut began his training in Houston, Texas, in 1998.
On October 23, 1998, President Clinton organized the Wye Summit, whose purpose was to implement the Oslo Accords. It was agreed that the idf would continue withdrawing from Judea and Samaria. In addition, an international airport was to be built in Gaza. As part of the agreement, the Palestinian National Council undertook to abolish sections of the Palestinian Convention that called for the destruction of the State of Israel. In July 1998, Shaul Mofaz was appointed chief of staff of the idf. On July 6, Ehud Barak was elected prime minister. He also held the portfolio of minister of defense. In his election campaign, Barak had promised to pull all Israeli forces out of Lebanon.
On May 24, 2000, the idf withdrew from southern Lebanon. This was a unilateral decision not coordinated with the Lebanese or Syrian governments. This overnight withdrawal left the Israeli government and the army with two difficult problems. The first was the inability to support the soldiers of the South Lebanese Army. The second was the fact that the idf did not have the time to build an electronic fence along the border. It took a year to complete the job, during which time the army had to patrol the border. The Northern Command of the idf was redeployed along the international border. Its operations were integrated with the air force, intelligence, and special units. The redeployment along the international border now legitimized Israel's response to any attacks of Hizbollah. On May 7, 2000, three Israeli soldiers were abducted by the Hizbollah. In the ensuing investigation conducted by the idf a brigade commander was dismissed from his post and the advancement of a division commander was held up.
Barak's attempts to reach an agreement with the Syrians (on the Golan Heights) and the Palestinians (Judea and Samaria and Gaza) brought him face to face with Arafat and Clinton at Camp David in July 2000. In spite of the fact that Barak had agreed to give up 90% of Judea and Samaria, and even to give up sovereignty over the Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, the summit failed. Clinton's compromise proposals of December 2000, did not overcome the impasse between Arafat and Barak.
On September 28, two months before this proposal, Barak had given permission to Knesset member Ariel Sharon (Likud) to pay a publicized visit to the Temple Mount. His visit caused an outbreak of Palestinian violence that led to the involvement of the idf and the Border Police. As a direct result of the Palestinian riots, disturbances broke out among Israeli Arabs a month later. Thirteen Israeli Arab citizens were killed. The riots on the Temple Mount, the identification of the Israeli Arabs with the Palestinians, and the failure of the Camp David summit led to the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa Intifada. This was characterized by Palestinian insurgency accompanied by intensive terrorist activity. The last few months of 2000 saw an increase in Palestinian terror attacks, Hizbollah terror, and especially the involvement of Israeli Arabs in terrorist activities within Israel. Israel reinforced its forces in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza and along the northern border. Arafat's inability to prevent terror against Israel and his rejection of Barak's proposal at Camp David brought about a change in his strategy. Seeking the involvement of the international community by maintaining the volatile situation, Arafat began to give secret support to terrorist groups. Consequently he began to be viewed by the Israeli and the American governments as irrelevant to the peace process. The suicide bombings moved the idf to plan a military operation that would destroy the terrorist infrastructure and its leaders. The Israeli government instructed the idf to plan this campaign to restore security to Israeli citizens.
2001–2005. On March 7, Ariel Sharon was elected as the prime minister of a national unity government and Binyamin Eliezar became minister of defense. During this period the suicide bombings continued. From December 2000 until April 2004, 541 civilians and soldiers were killed. As part of their policy, the terrorist organizations attempted to eliminate Israeli leaders. On October 17, 2001, the minister of tourism, Rehavam *Ze'evi, was assassinated in a hotel in Jerusalem. On March 27, 2002, on the night of the Passover seder, a suicide bombing in the Park Hotel in Netanyah killed 30 civilians and wounded over a hundred. The prime minister, the minister of defense, and the chief of staff decided to take a drastic step in the war against terror. The ensuing military action was named Operation Defensive Shield (Ḥomat Magen), with the following aims:
a) The idf was to take over and control the cities and villages that had become havens for terrorists;
b) To arrest and capture terrorists and the leaders behind them;
c) To confiscate all weapons;
d) To eliminate terrorist installations, laboratories for making bombs, weapon-making factories, shelters for terrorists, and anyone carrying weapons who was endangering the security of Israel.
Between January and March 2002, the idf had worked systematically to destroy the terrorist infrastructure. In March and April 2002, a decisive blow was struck in Operation Defensive Shield, and from June 2002 until May 2003 the idf completed its control of Judea and Samaria. From the middle of 2003 until 2004, the idf had stabilized its control of Judea and Samaria. Although according to the Oslo Accords some of these areas were in Area a, they returned to full control of the Israeli army. Operation Defensive Shield, which had begun on March 29, 2002, officially ended on May 10, 2002. Infantry and tank units from the regular forces and the reserves participated in this operation.
To improve its control over the forces in Judea and Samaria, a new divisional headquarters was set up which took over the responsibility for Bethlehem and Hebron. The takeover of Palestinian cities was carried out in a relatively short time, and with the exception of Jenin was carried out with virtually no casualties. In Jenin 27 soldiers were killed, 14 of them in the refugee camp. In Ramallah, Arafat and his command were trapped in the Mukata (the central command of the Palestinians in Ramallah). In Bethlehem, a number of terrorists took refuge in the Church of the Nativity and were forced to leave the country after an agreement. Alongside of Palestinian terror, the Hizbollah continued its attacks with the support of Syria and Iran. From the time the idf withdrew from Lebanon in May 2000, until July 2004, numerous attempts to attack Israeli soldiers and settlements took place along the northern border. During this period, 14 attempts were made by the Hizbollah to infiltrate Israel. As a result of these activities, 13 soldiers and six civilians were killed. In addition, 54 soldiers and 14 civilians were wounded.
In June 2002, the American administration proposed its roadmap for peace in the Middle East. Because of its distrust of Arafat the Israeli government was not willing to implement the roadmap. This was the reason it began to erect a fence between Israel and the Palestinians. The area on both sides of the fence included advanced technological early warning systems to prevent Palestinian terrorists from infiltrating into Israel. In the first stage, 132 kilometers were built and another 150 were being planned. The fence more or less followed the pre-Six-Day War "green line." Thanks to the fence terrorist attacks decreased by 75% in January–July 2004 in comparison with the same period the year before. Together with the idf's activity along the security fence, the army began to eliminate terrorist leaders in Gaza, and Judea and Samaria. Israel's success in killing the chief terrorist leaders, and the lack of experience of their successors, contributed to the decline in terrorist activity. In these killings the idf integrated intelligence, advanced technology, and helicopters.
In February 2003, the space mission of the American spaceship Columbia failed. The first Israeli astronaut, Col. Ilan Ramon, was killed in this mission. This disaster was a serious setback to Israel's space program and curtailed Israeli-American cooperation in space. Israel's space activity had become an important part of the state's national security.
In March 2003, the American army invaded Iraq in order to bring down the regime of Saddam Hussein. This was the end result of the terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda in New York on September 11, 2001. After the United States took over Iraq and had captured Saddam Hussein, terrorist activity against American soldiers in Iraq escalated.
The success of the terrorists in Iraq encouraged Palestinian terror groups to increase their activity in Israel. In the beginning of 2004, Ḥamas escalated its activities in the Gaza Strip. As a result, the idf made strikes in Gaza and killed Sheikh Yassin and Aziz El Rantisi. These men had been the most prominent among Ḥamas leaders in encouraging terror attacks against Israel. After the murder of Tali Hatuel and her four daughters in Gush Katif in March 2004, the idf intensified its operations against terrorists in Gaza. During these operations, two armored vehicles loaded with explosives blew up and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed. In consequence, the idf began a campaign to destroy the terrorist infrastructure in Rafah and in particular the tunnels used for smuggling explosives from Egypt to the Gaza Strip. In this campaign 40 terrorists were killed and 56 houses were demolished. The campaign enabled the army to control the Philadelphi Corridor, thus creating a buffer zone that separated Egyptian territory from the Palestinians.
The terrorist groups in Gaza felt limited in their capability to infiltrate Israel and launch mortars and Kassam rockets. To upgrade the level of their attacks on Israel, the Palestinians tried to obtain weapons from outside sources. An example of this was the ship Karin a that tried to smuggle weapons from Iran to Gaza. This ship was captured by the Israeli Navy. It was then that the idf realized that Al-Qaeda and Hizbollah were working hand and hand with the Palestinians.
The escalation of terrorist activities and the inability of the PA to advance the peace process led Prime Minister Sharon to announce a plan for unilateral withdrawal from Gaza. On April 28, 2004, this plan was made known to the public. The main idea of this proposal was to break the political stalemate with the pa and to minimize the friction with the Palestinians. The implementation of this plan would bring Gaza under Palestinian control and give a chance to the pa to prove their ability to prevent terrorist activities. On August 22, 2004, the disengagement task force was set up. A year later, in August 2005, the idf together with the police, removed the settlers of Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip from their homes, for the most part meeting with passive resistance, and then proceeded to dismantle the settlements.
In this period, based on intelligence reports, the idf redefined the threats against the security of the State of Israel. These were as follows:
a) The escalation of Palestinian terror through the use of long-range rockets on Israeli aircraft.
b) Hizbollah activities on the northern border launching hundreds of rockets on Israeli settlements.
c) The threat from Syria that could develop into a war of attrition along the Lebanese border and on the Golan Heights. In addition, there was the threat of the use of Scud missiles against Israeli targets in the center of the country.
d) The ability of Iran to launch Shihab missiles on Israeli targets in the center of the country, and the possibility that they would develop nuclear capabilities within a short time.
Along with these threats, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were amassing ballistic missiles. The Middle East was becoming a "powder keg" and this was endangering the security of Israel. The reality of this strategic situation forced Israel to develop advance response systems that would ensure Israel's military superiority and its deterrent ability. The increase in Israel's military strength between 1995 and 2005 occurred in its naval, land, and air forces.
The Israel Space Agency, with the aim of maintaining a military advantage, developed a satellite system in this period. Its purpose was to gather intelligence and serve as a means of communication. In this period the satellites Shavit, Ofek, and Amos were launched. In spite of the Columbia disaster, cooperation between the Israel Space Agency and nasa continued. The Israel Aircraft Industry continued to be the main arm in developing advanced military weapons. In land combat, new technologies were developed. These included new means of artillery and an advanced tank Merkavah 4. In Operation Defensive Shield the concept of "limited confrontation" (guerrilla war) began to evolve. To improve means of combat, the idf began equipping its soldiers with new guns (the Tavor) and began using lightweight armored jeeps. New anti-tank missiles and advanced night-vision binoculars were developed. The air force equipped itself with new helicopters (Blackhawk and Apache), and new aircraft (the f-15i and f-16i). These new fighter jets enabled Israel to reach enemy targets up to 4,000 kilometers away (covering all of the Middle East). The navy acquired three new submarines (Dolphins) that enabled it to operate anywhere in the Middle East. Moreover, the navy developed missile carriers that increased its ability to deter enemy threats. Israel's experience in the Gulf War (1991) led the idf to develop a defensive ballistic missile system in cooperation with the United States. As a part of its Arrow missile system a special radar device was created to act as an early warning system. In this period (2000–5), after a number of successful test launches the Arrow became an important factor in the defense of Israel. In addition, rockets and long-range missiles were developed for the land, air, and naval forces. In order to deal with new terrorist threats, Israel's intelligence capabilities were upgraded. New means of gathering intelligence were developed. This included unmanned aerial vehicles (uav).
In spite of the idf's great military strength, it had to deal with the phenomenon of soldiers' refusal to serve in protest against the Israeli occupation. In this period the number of young people refusing to serve in the army increased. In 2004, pilots and officers in special units published a letter in which they declared their refusal to serve in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. In the 2005 evacuation of Gush Katif there were also isolated instances of refusal to carry out orders, but the extent of such incidents, at both ends of the political spectrum, were far rarer than had been feared.
In addition to the strategic cooperation between Israel and the United States, Israel advanced its military cooperation with Turkey and India. Israel helped these countries to upgrade their tanks, aircraft, and military technology.
As a result of terror activities all over the world, regular armies have begun to fight militant groups or even individual terrorists. This type of asymmetric combat is what characterizes the period. The greatest fear of the enlightened world is that fundamentalist Islamic groups will gain control of weapons of mass destruction. The threat is one which Israel deals with as well. In order to maintain national security, the State of Israel must remain superior in its deterrent systems and continuously improve its deterrent capabilities. Stability in the Middle East will only be achieved jdc peace agreements are signed between Israel and Syria, and Israel and the Palestinians. Until that time the Israel Defense Forces must meet all actual and potential military challenges. (For the clashes between Israel and Hizbollah in Lebanon in summer 2006, see *Israel, State of: Historical Survey.)
[Gideon Netzer (2nd ed.)]
ottoman and mandatory periods. E. Golomb, History of Jewish Self-Defense in Palestine 1878 – 1921 (1946); M.P. Waters (pseud.), Haganah (1945?); M. Pearlman, The Army of Israel (1950), chs. 1–8; E. Dekel, Shai: The Exploits of Haganah Intelligence (1959); M. Mardor, Strictly Illegal (1964); Dinur, Haganah. israel defense forces. Y. Allon, The Making of Israel's Army (1969); idem, Shield of David (1970); S. Peres, David's Sling (1970). add. bibliography: C. Herzog, The Arab-Israel Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East from the War of Independence through Lebanon (1983); Z. Schiff, A History of the Israeli Army, 1870 – 1974 (1974). website: www1.idf.il.