Story posted: Wednesday, 27. June 2007 by Rafael Ben-Ari
The Israel Defense Forces also known as the Israeli Security Forces, IDF and Tsva Hahagana LeYisrael , Tsahal and the Defense Force of Israel, is the name of Israel's military forces, comprising the Israeli Army, Air Force and Sea Corps. The IDF was founded May 26, 1948 after the establishment of the state of Israel "to protect the inhabitants of Israel and to combat all forms of terrorism which threaten the daily life". The IDF succeeded the Haganah in particular, its operational branch, the Palmach as the permanent army of the Jewish state. It was also joined by former elements of the Jewish Brigade that fought under the British flag during World War II. After the establishment of the IDF the two Jewish underground organizations the Etzel and Lehi joined with the IDF in a loose confederation but were allowed to operate independently in some sectors until the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, after which these two organizations were disbanded, and their members integrated into the IDF. The modern IDF came into existence during the period from 1949 to 1956 by experience gained through regional conflicts with their Arab neighbors. From 1956 to 1966, the IDF faced less conflict and used this time to purchase new equipment and change from an upstart army to a professional fighting force. As well, this period allegedly saw Israel develop its nuclear capability. Following these developments, the IDF increasingly emerged as one of the most powerful and modern military forces in the world. All photos By Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye
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