- The Israel Defense Forces provide military services in the State of Israel.
The Israel Defense Forces has been specifically structured in alignment with the security situation prevailing in the country. It has its own technological developments 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. It has also developed the F-15I jet, THEL laser defense system, and the Arrow missile defense system with the cooperation of United States.
It served in major armed operations such as 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.
It operates 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 was established on May 26, 1948 by an order declared by defense minister David Ben-Gurion. It was formed out of the paramilitary group known as Haganah. It is currently headed by its Chief of General Staff, the Ramatkal, subordinate to the Defense Minister of Israel. Lieutenant general (Rav Aluf) Benny Gantz has served as Chief of Staff since 2011.