Israel Defense Forces

Israel Defense Forces
צבא ההגנה לישראל
Badge of the Israel Defense Forces.svg
Israel Defense Forces emblem
Flag of the Israel Defense Forces.svg
Flag of the Israel Defense Forces
Founded1948
Service branchesIsraeli Army
Israeli Air Force
Israeli Navy
Leadership
Prime Minister
Defense Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu
Avigdor Lieberman
Chief of General StaffRav Aluf Gadi Eizenkot
Manpower
Military age17
Conscription18
Available for
military service
1,554,186 males, age 17–49 (2016 est.),
1,514,063 females, age 17–49 (2016 est.)
Fit for
military service
1,499,998 males, age 17–49 (2016 est.),
1,392,319 females, age 17–49 (2016 est.)
Reaching military
age annually
60,000 males (2016 est.),
60,000 females (2016 est.)
Active personnel176,500[1] (ranked 34th)
Reserve personnel445,000[1]
Expenditures
Budget$18.6 billion (2015)[2]
Percent of GDP6.2% (2015)[2]
Industry
Domestic suppliersIsrael Aerospace Industries
Israel Military Industries
Israel Weapon Industries
Elbit Systems
Elisra
Elta
Rafael
Israel Shipyards
Foreign suppliers Czechoslovakia (1948)[3]
 France (1955–1966)[4]
 United States (1968–present)[5]
 Germany (1998–present)[6]
Related articles
HistoryWar of Independence (1948–1949)
Reprisal operations (1951–1956)
Sinai War (1956)
Six-Day War (1967)
War of Attrition (1967–1970)
Yom Kippur War (1973)
Operation Litani (1978)
First Lebanon War (1982–1985)
South Lebanon conflict (1985–2000)
First Intifada (1987–1993)
Second Intifada (2000–2005)
Second Lebanon War (2006)
Operation Cast Lead (2008–2009)
Pillar of Defense (2012)
Protective Edge (2014)
Other
RanksIsrael Defense Forces ranks

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF; Hebrew: צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵלAbout this sound Tsva ha-Hagana le-Yisra'el, lit. "The Army of Defense for Israel"; Arabic: جيش الدفاع الإسرائيلي‎), commonly known in Israel by the Hebrew acronym Tzahal (צה״ל‬), are the military forces of the State of Israel. They consist of the ground forces, air force, and navy. It is the sole military wing of the Israeli security forces, and has no civilian jurisdiction within Israel. The IDF is headed by its Chief of General Staff, the Ramatkal, subordinate to the Defense Minister of Israel; Lieutenant general (Rav Aluf) Gadi Eizenkot has served as Chief of Staff since 2015.

An order from Defense Minister David Ben-Gurion on 26 May 1948 officially set up the Israel Defense Forces as a conscript army formed out of the paramilitary group Haganah, incorporating the militant groups Irgun and Lehi. The IDF served as Israel's armed forces in all the country's major military operations—including the 1948 War of Independence, 1951–1956 Retribution operations, 1956 Sinai War, 1964–1967 War over Water, 1967 Six-Day War, 1967–1970 War of Attrition, 1968 Battle of Karameh, 1973 Operation Spring of Youth, 1973 Yom Kippur War, 1976 Operation Entebbe, 1978 Operation Litani, 1982 Lebanon War, 1982–2000 South Lebanon conflict, 1987–1993 First Intifada, 2000–2005 Second Intifada, 2002 Operation Defensive Shield, 2006 Lebanon War, 2008–2009 Operation Cast Lead, 2012 Operation Pillar of Defense, and 2014 Operation Protective Edge. The number of wars and border conflicts in which the IDF has been involved in its short history makes it one of the most battle-trained armed forces in the world.[7][8] While originally the IDF operated on three fronts—against Lebanon and Syria in the north, Jordan and Iraq in the east, and Egypt in the south—after the 1979 Egyptian–Israeli Peace Treaty, it has concentrated its activities in southern Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories, including the First and the Second Intifada.

The Israel Defense Forces differs from most armed forces in the world in many ways. Differences include the mandatory conscription of women and its structure, which emphasizes close relations between the army, navy, and air force. Since its founding, the IDF has been specifically designed to match Israel's unique security situation. The IDF is one of Israeli society's most prominent institutions, influencing the country's economy, culture and political scene. In 1965, the Israel Defense Forces was awarded the Israel Prize for its contribution to education.[9] The IDF uses several technologies developed in Israel, many of them made specifically to match the IDF's needs, such as the Merkava main battle tank, Achzarit armoured personnel carrier, high tech weapons systems, the Iron Dome missile defense system, Trophy active protection system for vehicles, and the Galil and Tavor assault rifles. The Uzi submachine gun was invented in Israel and used by the IDF until December 2003, ending a service that began in 1954. Since 1967, the IDF has had close military relations with the United States,[10] including development cooperation, such as on the F-15I jet, THEL laser defense system, and the Arrow missile defense system.

The Israel Defense Forces are believed to have had an operational nuclear weapons capability since 1967, possibly possessing between 80 and 400 nuclear weapons,[11] with delivery systems forming a nuclear triad, of plane launched-missiles, Jericho III intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine launched cruise missiles.

Etymology

The Israeli cabinet ratified the name "Israel Defense Forces" (Hebrew: צְבָא הַהֲגָנָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל‬), Tzva HaHagana LeYisra'el, literally "army for the defense of Israel," on 26 May 1948. The other main contender was Tzva Yisra'el (Hebrew: צְבָא יִשְׂרָאֵל‬). The name was chosen because it conveyed the idea that the army's role was defense, and because it incorporated the name Haganah, the pre-state defensive organization upon which the new army was based.[12] Among the primary opponents of the name were Minister Haim-Moshe Shapira and the Hatzohar party, both in favor of Tzva Yisra'el.[12]

Other Languages
brezhoneg: Tsahal
hrvatski: Cahal
Bahasa Indonesia: Pasukan Pertahanan Israel
íslenska: Ísraelsher
ქართული: ცაჰალი
Ladino: Tsahal
Simple English: Israel Defense Forces
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Izraelske obrambene snage
ייִדיש: צה"ל