Richard Melson

May 2006

Egoz Battalion, IDF

An Israeli Merkava main battle tank.

Israeli modified F-16 flying over Masada.

Israel Defense Forces:

High command (General Staff)

The IDF falls under the command of a single general staff.

The Chief of the General Staff (Ramatkal)

has the rank of (Lieutenant) General ( "Rav Aluf") and is the high commander of the IDF.

He reports directly to the Defense minister and indirectly to the Prime Minister of Israel and its government. Chiefs of Staff are formally appointed by the government, based on the Defense Minister's recommendation, for three years, but the government can vote to extend their service to four (and in rare occasions even five) years.

The current chief of staff is (Lieutenant) General (Rav-Aluf) Dan Halutz,

who replaced Moshe Ya'alon, on June 1st, 2005.

Ground forces

Active units:

Related organisations

(a combat unit of the police, deployed mostly along the borders and in the West Bank; includes also a few special forces).

Israeli internal security service.
Works tightly with the IDF to counter Palestinian terrorism.

Specific weapon systems:

Combat security organizations:

Non-combat security organizations:

Egoz Battalion:

The Egoz Battalion (Hebrew: Gdud Egoz) is an Israel Defense Forces infantry unit that specializes in guerilla and anti-guerilla warfare.

The Egoz Battalion is part of the Golani Brigade.

Egoz is a Hebrew word meaning 'nut', although in the case of the battalion, it is also an abbreviation for Anti Guerilla and Micro-Warfare (Anti Gerila VeLohama Zeira).

Before the year 2000, Egoz operated mainly in Israel's Northern Command,

combatting threats from the Hezbollah.

Following Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon,

its operations were moved to the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In 2003 and 2004, Egoz prevented more terrorist acts than any other IDF unit.

The unit still does some reconnaissance in southwern Lebanon.

The Egoz Battalion was founded in 1956 as a special forces unit (sayeret), but was disbanded and re-organized in 1964 due to a friendly fire incident. It was then disbanded again following the Yom Kippur War, and re-formed in 1995 as an anti-guerilla unit. Most of the initial fighters came from the Shimshon Unit. Its commander was from the Navy Commandoes and so much of the discipline, tactics and professionalism come from the Navy Commandos, not from Golani.

The training of an Egoz units begins with basic training, advanced exercises, and unit marches, after which each soldier is interviewed with Israeli intelligence to determine if he should be screened out from the second phase of training. The second phase consists of learning camouflage warfare, various kinds of assaults, land navigation in pairs, and completing the squad leaders course, jeep driving course, parachute course, concealment course and the alpine course – if there is snow in the Hermon area.

When operating in Lebanon, the unit uses unmarked bullets, as well as the Russian-made RPD and PK light machine guns. Soldiers using the M16 standard issue weapon have the Litton Akila night vision system mounted on it.

IDF & Egoz Battalion

May 16, 2006