The IDF, or, Israel Defense Forces, is the national military force of the State of Israel and consists of the Israeli Ground Force, the Israeli Air Force, and the Israeli Navy.

The IDF is headed by the Chief of General Staff, who holds the rank of Lieutenant General and is the only active officer who does so. The chief of staff as of November 2021 is Aviv Kohavi.

The IDF was formally established in May 1948 after the creation of the Jewish State, and it encompassed the three paramilitary groups which existed prior to the state -  the Hagana, the Irgun, and the Stern Gang (Lehi). 

Since the formation of the IDF, it has participated in six major wars including the War of Independence, the Six-Day War, the Sinai War, the Yom Kippur War, and the first and second Lebanon Wars. Other operations include Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Defense, Operation Protective Edge, and Operation Guardian of the Walls.

Conscription to the IDF is mandatory for both men and women over the age of 18, with women in non-combat positions serving for two years, and women in combat positions, and men, regardless of position, have a mandatory service of two years and eight months.

In addition to regular military duties and activities, the IDF responds to national emergencies or crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, and provides personnel to carry out work alongside the civilian population.

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This comes after a recent string of violent attacks and riots both inside sovereign Israel and at border crossings and checkpoints in the West Bank and Gaza.

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We are older, wiser, more battle-scarred, and better established as a nation than we were then. But we need to keep our hubris at bay.


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Thousands of Gazans with work permits have been unable to enter Israel.

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