Defense Ministry

The Israeli Defense Ministry is the government body that manages the security network and oversees security affairs for the state.


The state institutions managed by the Defense Ministry include the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), national museums, archives and memorials, as well as civil, political, and legal divisions that support the military and security network. The Defense Ministry serves as a bridge between the military and civilian infrastructure, including managing budgets, recruitment, and grand strategic decisions. The Defense Ministry also oversees and coordinates national emergencies and responses through the National Emergency Authority (NEMA). 


In 2021, the defense minister was Benny Gantz and the director-general was Amir Eshel, who was appointed to the position in 2020. The ministry has had 21 ministers and 24 director-generals since its establishment until 2021. The ministry's headquarters is in Tel Aviv, in the Kirya. 


The Defense Ministry works closely with Israeli defense industries. The International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT) lobbies foreign governments and holds exhibitions to secure contracts for Israeli private and public defense companies. The Directorate of Defense Research & Development (DDR&D) researches and promotes new innovations in the fields of defense and security.


The Defense Ministry was established just after the dissolution of the British Mandate, in 1948, and collected and organized the Jewish militia groups into a concerted military and defense force.

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