Israel Defense and Security

By | December 22, 2021

The Israeli Armed Forces (Tzahal, acronym for Tzva Hahaganah LeYisra’el, Israel Defense Forces) are based on the conscription system of periodic recall of reserves. The active forces include 176,500 soldiers, men and women, to which can be added up to 465,000 units of the reserve: overall, more than 10% of the population. Military service is compulsory for Jews and Druze; Christians and Muslims can do voluntary service. Those who have not served in the army cannot take advantage of the resulting benefits, for example in terms of scholarships and home loans. Tzahalit maintains a technologically advanced military apparatus. For example, the aviation is equipped with F-15, F-16 and F-161 Sofah, while the army is equipped with the Merkava Mark 4 tank, improved over previous models in fire control, defense systems. active and electronic instrumentation. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), Israel has also experimented with the Jericho 3 ballistic missile with a range of over 4000 km. As for security threats, despite being the militarily strongest and best equipped state in the area, Israel is the one most on the alert not only for the risks associated with terrorism, but above all for the persistent hostility towards its existence.

However, the showdowns in Lebanon against Hezbollah and in the Gaza Strip against Hamas have confirmed Israel’s military strength and relative efficiency. Operations Cast Lead, Defense Pillar and Protective Edge have inflicted heavy casualties on Hamas’ military structure, but failed to permanently block the launch of missiles against Israel. To prevent any attack, the Israeli government has built a separation wall from the Palestinian territories, started in 2003 and revised several times; in reality it is a barrier multi-layered technologically sophisticated. The barrier, criticized for various reasons both by the Palestinians (because it encompasses territories beyond the ‘green line’, isolating entire settlements and making the movement of residents difficult), and by the settler movement (because it implies the renunciation of possession of all territories from the Jordan to the sea), has reduced terrorist attacks inside Israel to almost zero. In November 2013, Netanyahu signaled a new strategic security goal, which will represent a red line for future agreements with the Palestinians: Israeli control of the Jordan Valley. Justifying them with fears of Syrian refugees now living in Jordan infiltrating Israel, the premier announced plans to build a new fence along the Jordan. which began immediately after the completion of the separation wall with Egypt in Sinai. Alongside Hamas and Hezbollah, Israel’s other historic enemy is Iran. Following the 1979 revolution that brought the Twelver Shiite clergy to power, the Iranian leadership has always condemned the very existence of Israel and is therefore perceived by the Israeli establishment as a permanent danger for both economic and military support to organizations. hostile to Israel – such as Hezbollah and Hamas – both on the suspicion that in the future Tehran may resume its nuclear program suspended following the agreement of July 2015.¬†For Israel defense and foreign policy, please check

Birth and evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict

The initial phase of the Zionist movement, marked by the first two waves of Jewish immigration to Palestine (1882 and 1904) was fueled by the pogroms in Russia. In turn, the violence against the Jews was incongruously unleashed after the assassination of Alexander II by the terrorists of Narodnaya Volya and continued in Russia until 1921.

In 1917, after the Balfour Declaration on the partition of the Ottoman Empire and the British occupation of Palestine, there was a more consistent wave of Jewish immigration and, at the same time, a more decisive awareness of the Arab Palestinians. The result was the clashes of 1929. After the great Arab revolt of 1936-39 and a series of Zionist attacks, the Arab-Jewish conflict in Palestine continued to escalate. with the first Arab-Israeli war (1948-49), which broke out after the Arab refusal to recognize the United Nations plan to divide Palestine into two states and the birth of Israel. Between 1949 and 1967, despite the rapid war of 1956, won once again by Israel, the country managed to consolidate its positions, while the panorama of the Arab world became more varied. In this phase, the Arab-Israeli conflict took place mainly between states, while Arab society and the Palestinians had to manage the shock of the Naqba, the ‘catastrophe’ caused by the defeat of 1948.

Between 5 and 10 June 1967 the so-called Six Day War upset the balance of the Middle East: Israel occupied the Sinai, the West Bank and the Golan. It was a historical watershed for several reasons: it marked the defeat of Nasserian pan-Arabism; the military and political disaster of the Arab regimes led to the end of their protection over the Palestine Liberation Organization (O lp); it fueled the success of the fundamentalist movements. In Israel to make sense of victory, in Arab countries to react to defeat.

In 1973 the Yom Kippur War once again thwarted Arab hopes: Syria and Egypt, with a surprise attack on Israel, had tried to undo the consequences of the 1967 war. Once again the Israeli forces imposed themselves on the field, but the their victory posed a more serious problem of diplomatic resolution of the conflict. This was partially achieved with the Peace of Camp David, between Egypt and Israel, in 1979. From 1979 to 1987 the salient event was the war in Lebanon, with which the Begin-Sharon government tried to eliminate the PLO as an actor. military and political, and to put Syria out of the Lebanese games. The first objective is achieved, the second not. The PLOmoves to Tunis and the Israeli government is weakened first by the scandal of the massacres in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila, then by the growth of guerrilla warfare against Israeli forces, which leads, in 1985, to the gradual withdrawal of these up to a security zone in southern Lebanon, abandoned in 2000. In 2013, after five years of stalemate, negotiations between Israel and Palestine resumed, thanks to the mediation of the USA and Jordan, immediately shipwrecked due to mutual resistance. The new stalemate resulted in a situation of heightened tension which again resulted in a war in Gaza (July-August 2014).

Israel Defense