IDF

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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IDF on manoeuvres as Nasrallah hints at war

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 26, 2010

The IDF's Nahal infantry brigade is carrying out its annual manoeuvres on the Golan Heights.

Traditionally, this is considered tank country, a potential battlefield between Israeli and Syrian armoured formations, but the column of soldiers moving under cover of darkness into dawn attack positions are training for war against another adversary.

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Israeli army uses Facebook to stalk draft-dodgers

By Jennifer Lipman, November 23, 2010

Israel has adopted a new tool in the fight against army draft evaders, and it involves looking at people’s Facebook pages.

Service in the IDF is compulsory for Israeli school-leavers, except under specific circumstances. Those exempt from duty include some Orthodox Jewish men and women.

But with draft-dodging on the rise, the army has turned to Facebook to check those avoiding service are doing so for a legitimate reason.

The method has enabled the IDF to catch some 1,000 women exaggerating the extent of their religious observance.

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Fall in West Bank violence

November 11, 2010

Terror activity in the West Bank has reached an all-time low due to the IDF and Shin Bet's efforts, and a major improvement in co-operation with the Palestinian Authority's security forces.

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