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Military ::Israel

The Israel Defense Forces consists of the Israeli Army, and Israeli Navy. It was founded during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War by consolidating paramilitary organizations—chiefly the Haganah—that preceded the establishment of the state. The IDF also draws upon the resources of the Military Intelligence Directorate (Aman), which works with the Mossad and Shabak. The Iefense Forces have been involved in several major wars and border conflicts in its short history, making it one of the most battle-trained armed forces in the world.

The majority of Israelis are drafted into the military at the age of eighteen. Men serve three years and women serve two to three years. Following compulsory service, Israeli men join the reserve forces and do several weeks of reserve duty every year until their forties. Most women are exempt from reserve duty. Arab citizens of Israel  and those engaged in full-time religious studies are exempt from military service, although the exemption of yeshiva students has been a source of contention in Israeli society for many years. An alternative for those who receive exemptions on various grounds is Sherut Leumi, or national service, which involves a program of service in hospitals, schools and other social welfare frameworks. As a resut of its conscription program, the IDF maintains approximately 168,000 active troops and an additional 408,000 reservists


Israeli soldiers training alongside the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit on the USS Kearsarge

The nation's military relies heavily on high-tech weapons systems designed and manufactured in Israel as well as some foreign imports. The United States is a particularly notable foreign contributor; military aid to Israel is expected to increase by 6 billion over the next decade. US is expected to provide the country with $3.15 billion per year from 2013-2018. The Israeli- and U.S.-designed Arrow missile is one of the world's only operational anti-ballistic missile systems.

The IDF  introduced from 2008

Since the Yom Kippur War, Israel has developed a network of reconnaissance satellites. The success of the Ofeq program has made Israel one of seven countries capable of launching such satellites. The country has also developed its own main battle tank, the Merkava. Since its establishment, Israel has spent a significant portion of its gross domestic product on defense. In 1984, for example, the country spent 24% of its GDP on defense. Today, that figure has dropped to 7.3%.

Israel is widely believed to possess nuclear weapons. Israel has not signd the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and maintains a policy of deliberate ambiguity toward its nuclear capabilities. Israel's policy of nuclear ambiguity may have played an important role in subduing Israel's enemies.

After the Gulf War in 1991, when Israel was attacked by Iraqi Scud missiles, a law was passed requiring all apartments and homes in Israel to have a mamad, a reinforced security room impermeable to chemical and biological substances.

International deployments

After the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Israel mobilized a team of 150 IDF doctors and rescue and relief teams, which were to set up a field hospital in Sri Lanka. After the Sri Lankan government rejected this offer, Israel instead flew in 82 tonnes of humanitarian aid along with a small number of IDF personnel. Israel also sent in rescue workers and medical personnel to other countries, along with relief workers and body identifiers from ZAKA and the Israel Police. Israel also donated USD $100,000 to each affected country.

After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, a rescue team was dispatched to Haiti, which consisted of 40 doctors, 20 nurses and rescue workers, and two rescue planes loaded with medical equipment and a field hospital with X-rays, intensive care units, and operating rooms. The Israel Defense Forces set up a satellite communications room with phone and wireless internet access and video conference systems so that surgeons could consult medical experts in Israel. Magen David Adom delegation arrived on January 17 to establish field clinics in cooperation with local rescue services. The Israeli rescue team remained in Haiti until January 28. Following a request from the United States and United Nations, Israel sent 100 police officers as peacekeepers to Haiti. A group of police forensics investigators to assist in the identification of victims was also sent, along with 220 Home Front Command search and rescue teams and Israeli Medical Corps personnel.

Military branches:
Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Israel Naval Forces (IN), Israel Air Force (IAF) (2010)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for compulsory (Jews, Druzes) and voluntary (Christians, Muslims, Circassians) military service; both sexes are obligated to military service; conscript service obligation - 36 months for enlisted men, 21 months for enlisted women, 48 months for officers; pilots commit to 9 years service; reserve obligation to age 41-51 (men), 24 (women) (2010)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,771,661
females age 16-49: 1,687,698 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,496,542
females age 16-49: 1,425,537 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 61,613
female: 58,679 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
7.3% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 6 supports I.C.E.Y. - H.O.P.E. (non-profit org)
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