IDF

Israeli army spokesman used alias in London for safety

By Jennifer Lipman, February 9, 2011

A senior official in the Israeli army has revealed that fears about being targeted by anti-Israel activists prompted him to travel to London recently - in disguise.

More than a year after Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni cancelled a London speech for fear of arrest under Britain’s universal jurisdiction law, Brigadier-General Avi Benayahu found it necessary to visit Britain under an assumed identity and accompanied by security guards.

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Israeli soldiers help Palestinian woman with emergency birth

By Jennifer Lipman, February 7, 2011

An Israeli soldier has described his dramatic rescue of a pregnant Palestinian woman after an ambulance was unable to reach her to deliver her baby.

IDF paramedic Sergeant Gilad Nesher, 20, had to deliver the baby en route to the hospital and then perform emergency resuscitation after the newborn initially struggled to breathe.

The woman phoned for a doctor in the early hours of this morning, but an ambulance could not make it to her home in the Jordan valley – five kilometres from the road - in time.

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Benny Gantz named IDF chief after Galant dropped

By Jennifer Lipman, February 7, 2011

Benjamin Netanyahu has finally named a new chief of staff for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

The Israeli Prime Minister said Benny Gantz would take charge of the IDF, provided the nomination by Defence Minister Ehud Barak is accepted by the cabinet.

Mr Gantz, a paratroop commander, will become the 20th person to serve as Israel’s top military commander.

Mr Netanyahu said: “He is an experienced commander and an excellent officer. He has all the qualities and all the necessary experience to be an excellent IDF chief of staff.”

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Scandal brings down Israel's top soldier

By Nathan Jeffay, February 3, 2011

Israelis are notoriously prone to squabbling with their neighbours. But never before has a neighbourly dispute spiralled in to the kind of crisis the country has seen this week, shaking the political and military establishment.

On Tuesday, just two weeks before the Israel Defence Force's new Chief of Staff was due to take up his post, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Ehud Barak announced that they were overturning his appointment.

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Sky drones claims not true, say defence chiefs

January 20, 2011

Both the Ministry of Defence and the Israeli Embassy in London have hit back at claims that British troops were trained by the IDF to fly unmanned aerial drones.

The allegations were made by Sky News defence correspondent Niall Paterson last week and picked up by organisations including the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, War on Want and Amnesty International.

It was claimed that the British government had been criticised for purchasing technology "field-tested on Palestinians".

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Interview: Dan Halutz

By Jenni Frazer, January 13, 2011

Pilots, they say in the Israel Defence Forces, are the most cautious of men. They will check something repeatedly, and then go back to check it again.

So it is not really a surprise to find the ex-fighter pilot and former head of Israel's military, Dan Halutz, is treating his first foreign media interview since entering politics with the utmost care.

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Israeli soldiers warned over Facebook use

By Nathan Jeffay, January 6, 2011

During the Second World War, the British government famously released posters warning: "Careless talk costs lives." Now the IDF is running a contemporary equivalent campaign - against indiscreet Facebook posts.

Top brass have written to all commanders asking them to urge subordinates to be careful what they post on Facebook and other social networking sites.

It urges against posting photos taken on bases or pictures of soldiers which give away information about their role in the army, such as by revealing unit insignia, or where they live.

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My reaction to critics of Israel? I joined the IDF

By Clair Symonds, January 6, 2011

There might be no such thing as a free lunch, but there may well be such a thing as a free falafel. I say that only because when I would get chatting to falafel stall-holders the subject would invariably turn to what I was up to in Israel, and the conversation would go something like this.

"Where do you come from, then? England, America?" the stall-holder would say as he took my order.

"South Africa - but I live in France," I would reply.

"And why have you come to Israel. Tell me, you are Jewish?" he would say as he began to prepare my falafel.

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Hamas loads the launchers once again

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 29, 2010

Hamas has escalated its rocket attacks from Gaza, two years after Operation Cast Lead. But Israeli officials believe that the movement is not interested in a return to open hostilities and is, for now, "testing the limits".

Before this month and since the end of the Gaza conflict two years ago, Hamas had refrained from taking part in the attacks against Israeli patrols on the border and from carrying out missile launches against Israeli towns and kibbutzim.

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Orthodox get IDF exemption

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

A series of reforms of yeshivah students' stipends and the announcement of their exemption from army service have become the subject of a coalition disagreement and a rift between the government and the IDF.

The cabinet voted on Sunday 14-8 in favour of a plan formulated by the Prime Minister's Office to continue paying stipends to yeshivah students for another five years, gradually cutting off the payments when they reach the age of 29.

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