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Israel Defense Forces

February 4, 2014 – Monaliza Abdo is Arab, Christian, Israeli and a defender of Jews and minorities alike. She wasn’t required to enlist in the Israeli army, but her determination to protect Israel motivated her to volunteer. We had the chance to join Monaliza on the day of her release from the IDF.

March 5, 2014 – Four female soldiers from four different bases discuss being a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the impact the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) has on their lives.

June 21, 2020 – Female fighters – we get up close and personal with the women who serve in Israel’s Border Police.

December 7, 2020 – Israel is one of only nine countries in the world with mandatory military service for both men and women. Although females serve in combat and many hold high-level officer positions, holding such positions is a recent phenomenon. Find out how women are defying tradition and expectations and climbing higher than ever before in the Israel Defense Forces.

00:00 Intro
00:24 History of Israeli mandatory IDF service
01:30 Social benefits of army service
02:08 Alice Miller vs. the Air Force in the Israeli Supreme Court
02:51 Units with female soldiers
03:12 Yehuda Segev and the Segev Report
03:45 The IDF Rabbinate’s response to the Segev Report
04:04 Gender harassment in the IDF
04:14 Continued gender integration in the IDF
05:54 Outro

“. . . security will not exist if our nation’s women do not know how to fight . . .”
— David Ben-Gurion, primary national founder and first Prime Minister of the State of Israel, November 3, 1955 – June 26, 1963

January 31, 2021 – The lone soldier, or chayal boded in Hebrew, is unique to the IDF and to Israel. What motivates young men and women from all over the world to volunteer for military service so far from their homes? And why are some local Israeli recruits also Lone Soldiers? Explore the connection that draws young Jews from around the world to Israel every year to voluntarily join the IDF and find out how Israelis have been supporting these soldiers dating back to Israel’s War of Independence in 1948.

00:00 Intro
00:31 What is a Lone Soldier?
00:57 Overseas volunteers and the Machal unit
01:27 Israelis without connection to their immediate families
01:50 Why is the Lone Soldier status necessary?
02:10 Additional support given to Lone Soldiers
02:56 Max Steinberg z”l, Operation Protective Edge
03:11 Challenges faced by Lone Soldiers
03:50 Michael Levin z”l, The Second Lebanon War
04:01 The Lone Soldier Center
04:30 The Jewish connection to Israel

February 18, 2021 – Israel has been in intense combat since the day of its foundation. The need to survive, outrun, outgun and outthink their enemies has pushed the Jewish state to create some of the most innovative technology and clever military inventions in the world. Here are the top 8 strangest and coolest Israeli Military inventions of all time.

March 11, 2021 – Learn more about “Mitznefets’ here – one of the questions we get asked most is “Why do Israeli soldiers wear those chef hat things on their heads?” We thought it was time to shed some light on the most distinctive piece of combat headgear since the Spartan helmet.

May 21, 2021 – We’re taking a look at the short but very intriguing history behind the Israeli Defense Force’s one of a kind helmet cover – the mitznefet.

March 22, 2022 – Saluting the women of the IDF.

October 13, 2022 – Can Arabs serve in elite units in the IDF?

March 1, 2023 – A personal account of female soldiers about their life in the Israeli Army, the only one to draw women for mandatory military service. A female point of view on the drama of an unending war, on the moral challenges they faced at the encounter with the Palestinian population. Questions that were not dealt with during the service are raised today with great pain – and courage. A female point of view on the drama of an unending war, on the moral challenges the soldiers faced at the encounter with the Palestinian population. The young women look back critically at the way they handled the power that was placed in their hands at the young age of eighteen.

Did they really smile in the pictures? In 1988 the filmmaker served herself in the Israeli Defence Force in the Occupied Territories. ‘How could I ever think I’d forget…’ is what one of the young women asks herself at the end of this film. Their names are Meytal, Rotem, Inbar, Dana, Tal, Libi, they have one thing in common, having served the Israeli Defense Forces. In Israel, the national military service is mandatory for all Israeli citizens over the age of 18, male and female. Through the different stories of these women, the documentary raises the question of the place of women in the army, a world historically of men, but also and more broadly the question of the group and what the human is able to do to assert its place.

These young women from the top of their 18 years, will discover a world completely different from their daily life in the ultra secured state that is Isreal. First of all, entering this military space will instinctively lead them to erase their femininity and copy the behavior of men. Furthermore, joining the army will also lead them to participate in a group dynamic, based on their belonging to Israel. Some of them will commit atrocious acts during this endless conflict with Palestine, which they would certainly never have thought of being able to undertake. In fact, for some of them, the pride of serving their country and doing “good” will soon give way to a feeling of disillusionment and fear when faced with the reality of the horrors of war.

With impressive candor they talk about what they saw and what they did; the way they tried to make sense of this ‘other world,’ and how they tried to reconcile their experiences with the self they were familiar with, stripped of army uniform. However, the documentary does not seek to excuse or justify the acts that were committed in the West Bank during this period since the first Palestinian uprising. “To See if I’m Smiling” powerfully explores the way gender, ethics, power and moral responsibility interact in times of war. Its rare tapestry of women’s testimonies leaves us to ponder some of the most burning questions of our times. It is not only a story about women in the Israeli army and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but a universal story, about war and its atrocities and what it does to people.

June 14, 2023 – Since its founding, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has engaged in numerous successful battles, many of which have contributed to Israel’s overall war strategy. Six decisive battles in particular have played a pivotal role in shaping Israel’s military prowess, each of which required a resilience and strategic ingenuity that has helped turn Israel into the major military force that it is today.

00:00 Intro
00:33 Operation Yevusi in Jerusalem, 1948 War of Independence
02:07 The Mitla Pass, 1956 Sinai War (Suez Crisis)
03:37 Operation Moked, 1967 6 Day War
04:50 Operation Rimon 20, 1967-1970 War of Attrition
07:03 The Valley of Tears, 1973 Yom Kippur War
08:54 The Siege of Beirut, 1982 Lebanon War
11:04 Lessons learned: Israel’s war strategies

October 11, 2023 – An Israeli woman is being hailed as a hero for preventing a Hamas invasion. Inbal Lieberman is a former member of the Israeli army. When she realized her kibbutz was coming under attack, she broke open the armory and handed out weapons. They killed two dozen terrorists in a four-hour gun battle. The mayor of Tel Aviv is praising her as a “heroine,” saying “Thanks to her, dozens of lives were saved.”

October 30, 2023 – A Female-dominated Israeli combat squad reportedly eliminated nearly 100 Hamas terrorists while protecting towns along Israel’s borders. Lt.-Col. Or Ben-Yehuda, the commander of the Caracal Battalion, made up mostly of female soldiers, said her unit showed heroic actions on the battlefield. Praising the fighters of her unit, Ben-Yehuda, said that female soldiers triumphed in every encounter with terrorists.

November 5, 2023 – As Israel bombards Gaza in response to Hamas’s attack, the IDF’s elite combat engineering unit, Yahalom, is preparing for a prolonged battle with Hamas. Out of the spotlight, the unit has been responsible for destroying a complex web of hundreds of kilometers of tunnels Hamas has dug out underground. The Yahalom Unit is trained especially in tunnel warfare to face off with the roughly 500km of underground tunnels. Over the years, Hamas has used an extensive network of underground tunnels to evade Israeli surveillance above ground, according to the IDF. Watch the video to find out what challenges lies ahead of Yahalom Unit.

00:00 – INTRODUCTION
01:49 – THE CHALLENGES FACING YAHALOM
04:34 – THE YAHALOM ARSENAL – FROM SPONGE BOMBS TO FLYING KILLER DRONES

November 10, 2023 – The most feared Israeli soldiers.

YAMAM (ימ”מ, an acronym for Centralized Special Unit יחידה מרכזית מיוחדת‎, Yeḥida Merkazit Meyuḥedet), also called in Hebrew היחידה המיוחדת ללוחמה בטרור‎ and Israel’s National Counter Terror Unit in English) is Israel’s national counter-terrorism unit, one of four special units of the Israel Border Police.

General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (formerly Unit 269 or Unit 262), more commonly known as Sayeret Matkal (סיירת מטכ״ל), is the special reconnaissance unit (sayeret) of Israel’s General Staff (matkal). It is considered one of the premier special forces units of Israel.

Shayetet 13 (13, ‘Flotilla 13’) is a unit of the Israeli Navy and one of the primary reconnaissance units of the Israel Defense Forces. Shayetet 13 specializes in sea-to-land incursions, counterterrorism, sabotage, maritime intelligence gathering, maritime hostage rescue, and boarding.

Unit 621, otherwise known as Sayeret Egoz (יחידת אגוז, Yehidat Egoz, “Nut”), is an elite Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commando unit specializing in guerrilla warfare, special reconnaissance, and direct action (military). It is a part of the IDF Central Command’s 89th Brigade (commonly referred to as the commando brigade).

Unit 5101, more commonly known as Shaldag (שלדג, “Kingfisher”), is one of the premier Israeli Air Force (IAF) sayeret (special reconnaissance units) and is part of the 7th Special Air Forces Wing based at the Palmachim Airbase. Shaldag specializes in clandestine operations, combat search and rescue, commando style raids, hostage rescue, irregular warfare, long-range penetration, military intelligence operations, special operations, and special reconnaissance within enemy territory.

November 15, 2023 – GAZA – The IDF stormed Gaza’s al-Shifa hospital in search of a Hamas base. Video showed elite troops carrying out a ’targeted attack’ on the site which is the largest hospital in Gaza, sheltering hundreds of people. Hamas’s main base is thought to be located in tunnels underneath it. Separately, Shayetet 13 special forces and other IDF troops cleared al-Rantisi hospital, which is located just a few streets away from al-Shifa. They showed how Hamas had constructed a based under the center which was filled with explosives, weapons and ammunition. There was also evidence of people being held underground as the IDF searches for 240 hostages taken by Hamas on Oct 7.

November 17, 2023 – TBN Israel’s Yair Pinto reports from the frontlines of the Israel-Gaza War while on active duty with the IDF. Pinto reports that IDF special forces have seized a large stockpile of Hamas weapons and equipment on the grounds of Al-Shifa Hospital while also uncovering a complex network of underground terror tunnels. In a separate operation, the IDF also found the body of Israeli hostage Yehudit Weiss. Please join us in praying for the Weiss family and the safe release of Israeli hostages.

November 18, 2023 – On October 7, Israeli women went through an unimaginable nightmare—they were raped, brutally massacred, mutilated and kidnapped. It’s been 43 days since, and our hearts continuously miss a beat.

November 19, 2023 – IDF says Hamas murdered Noa Marciano inside Gaza’s Shifa Hospital. In a press conference, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari told media that Noa Marciano had been murdered by Hamas inside Shifa Hospital, not killed by an Israeli airstrike. Israel has confirmed the death of a soldier being held hostage by Hamas after the terrorists released a video which they claimed showed her lifeless body. Cpl. Noa Marciano, 19, of the IDF’s 414th Combat Intelligence Collection Corps was captured by the Hamas brutes on October 7. The teenager was serving in the Nahal Oz base when it was overrun by terrorists.

November 22, 2023 – Since visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem at the age of 5, Rose Levin, a girl from Atlanta, knew that she would one day “make aliyah” – come back home – to Israel and enlist in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) to defend her homeland. Two years after realizing her dream, this brave IDF soldier fought alongside her fellow soldiers against Hamas terrorists on October 7th in Kibbutz Sa’ad on the Israel-Gaza border where she lived. A month later, she was killed a terror attack in Jerusalem, where she served in the Border Police. By Yifat Glik and Peleg Netanal, on November 19, 2023

The Israel Border Police (מִשְׁמַר הַגְּבוּל, Mišmar Ha-Gvul) is the gendarmerie and border security branch of the Israel National Police. It is also commonly known by its Hebrew abbreviation Magav (מג”ב‎), meaning “Border Guard.” Its members are colloquially known as magavnikim (מג”בניקים‎; singular magavnik). While its main task is securing Israel’s borders, it has also been deployed to assist the Israel Defense Forces, and for counter-terrorism and law enforcement operations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in Jerusalem. The Israeli Border Police is known to include many soldiers from minority backgrounds, being a particularly popular choice for Druze recruits, and also including many soldiers from Circassian, Arab Christian, and Bedouin backgrounds.

November 27, 2023 – Seven young Israeli women soldiers, Hagar, Hila, Tal Sarah, Michal, Karni, Ophir, and Tamar, made world history in Israel on October 7, 2023. These 20-year-old young Israeli women are the first female armored corps soldiers of any army to fight in all-female tank crews in active combat against an opposing enemy force. Driving to the rescue of several Israeli kibbutzim (small civilian agricultural communities) on the Israel-Gaza border, they fought for 17 hours in coordination with other IDF soldiers to defeat a large number of Hamas terrorists who were murdering and abducting Israeli families from their homes along the Israel-Gaza border.