Tag: IDF

The rise of religious IDF

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has always had a certain biblical element to it. Top IDF commanders, be they religious or secular, have never shied away from invoking biblical military heroes to inspire their troops. But the IDF has also always a bastion of neutrality in a nation increasingly torn down a religious-secular divide.

That is why researchers at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv expressed surprise last week when the vast majority of Israelis said they didn’t care that a growing number of IDF commanders are from the national-religious camp.

In contrast to the ultra-Orthodox movement, religious Jews belonging to the national-religious camp all serve in the army, hold down regular jobs and see the modern State of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. They are usually characterized by knitted skullcaps, or kippas

Israel’s first female Arab combat soldier

Cpl. Elinor Joseph, a young Christian Arab woman from northern Israel, has won herself a place in a respected infantry unit, making her Israel’s first ever female Arab combat soldier.

Joseph will serve as a combat medic in the Karakal Battalion, after more than a year of battling misconceptions that she was too weak for such a position.

Joseph originally did not plan to enlist in the IDF. Arab citizens of Israel are not required to enlist due to the societal difficulties that serving in the Jewish state’s army can cause. But some choose to enlist anyway. Joseph’s father was one of them, and she remembered the great sense of pride and accomplishment that his years as an Israeli paratrooper had given him and the whole family.

So, despite the fierce objections of her friends and many others in her local community, Joseph decided to enlist. “I believe in what I am doing,” she told the IDF Spokesman’s Unit. “My parents also are very proud of me, maybe a little bit too much.”

IDF increases, enhances its urban warfare training centers

“Within 10 minutes a unit can erect an entire city,” explained TGM executive Dinor Shavit. “Units can practice urban warfare scenarios including hand-to-hand combat within the newly-erected structure without worrying that it will fall down.”
Recognizing that the next battles with Hizbullah and Hamas will be fought in densely populated areas, the IDF is significantly increasing the number of urban warfare centers it has to train troops for future complex operations.

The Ground Forces Command recently approved plans to increase the number of urban warfare training centers by 50 percent by the end of 2011. Currently, there are about 15 different training centers scattered throughout the country, the largest of which is located near the Tze’elim Base in the Negev.

IDF preparing for mass evacuations in case of Hezbollah missile strike

“In ’91, people went to work during the day, and at night wanted to get their families out of the center of the country, because the Dan Region was considered a high-risk area,” the senior officer said. “But at that time, 42 missiles fell. This time the scenarios are talking about thousands of missiles and rockets.”
Army fears new Lebanon confrontation would result in heavier warheads being launched at Tel Aviv. Harel The Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command is putting together a plan for the mass evacuation of civilians in the event of missile and rocket attacks. Hezbollah’s rockets can currently hit practically everywhere in the country. A policeman at the site of a Hezbollah rocket strike Nahariya during the Second Lebanon War in 2006

The plan will be studied as part of next week’s nationwide Home Front Command exercise. Defense officials are preparing for war scenarios including massive missile strikes on the home front.

Israel concerned about UNIFIL takeover

Indonesia may command naval force, complicating IDF’s coordination. Israel is concerned that Indonesia could take up command of UNIFIL’s naval force, making it difficult for the IDF and particularly the Israel Navy to maintain a high level of coordination with the peacekeeping force.

Italy is currently in charge of the UNIFIL Maritime Task Force after taking over command from the German Navy last November. Germany, Greece, Italy and Turkey all contribute to the force.

The Bible is the IDF’s guide

The IDF sees the Bible as a guide in the deep and practical sense of the word,” I
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Wednesday in a meeting with participants in the International Bible Quiz for Youth. “It is no accident that the IDF swears in its soldiers with a weapon in one hand and the Bible in the other – a custom that reflects the uniqueness of the IDF and the deep bond of the Jewish people to the Book of Books,” he added.