• 31 year old vehicle designer, Amir Zaid, tells of his 5 years, designing
Fiats and Ferraris in Italy, and his subsequent return to Israel. He
talks to us on Italian design, the Israeli defense establishment, the
totally different type of vehicle he now designs, and the importance of
esthetics even on the battle field! READ MORE
Pictures of the Month
Challenges of the Moment
On the Agenda
The Olive Picking season now taking place in much of the Binyamin
Regional Command of Judea and Samaria, has a tradition of being
the cause for much friction between Palestinians and Israelis. Every
effort is being invested to pass this Season quietly. Our IDF website
correspondent accompanies a Reserve unit on patrol and hears the
command of the day being “ No tolerance for harmful damage to
property”. READ MORE
• In an accurate operation aimed at punishing killers of Israelis, the IDF
downed the two Hamas terrorists involved in the August 31st deadly
shooting attack of Israelis at the Benni Naim junction. The successful
operation took place last night (Oct. 8) in Hebron. The dead terrorists
included a senior Hamas operative. READ MORE
• Ahmad Al Ashkar, a senior-ranking member of the “Palestinian Eagles”
organization suspected of being in the advanced planning of an
upcoming terror attack against Israel, was eliminated by accurate IDF
fire when his vehicle was hit from the air. READ MORE
• The IAF identified and hit a squad of terror operatives in the Northern
Gaza Strip during preparations to launch missiles into Israel.
• The IDF is committed to aid and assistance wherever necessary on
The IDF Medical Corps enjoys an edge in professionalism, knowhow
and expertise. The Search and Rescue Unit of the Home Front serve
diligently to save lives in countries that find themselves in humanitarian
crises and natural disasters. During the year of 2010 the IDF rescue
units assisted the people of “Haiti” after the massive earth quake that
stroked the island. In advance the IDF rescue units assisted the people
of Gujarat in India, and in 2004, the IDF sent rescue forces to assist the
people of Sri-Lanka after the tsunami hit. Attached is a special review
on the subject. READ MORE
• The Ministry of Defense Executive Director signed the official purchase
agreement on Thursday (Oct.7th) in New York, whereby the USA will
provide Israel with its first F35 Fighter squadron, totaling some $2.75
The deal was approved by Defense Minister Ehud Barak last August.
• Minister of Defense Ehud Barak has approved IDF Chief of Staff
Ashkenazi’s recommendation to appoint Maj.Gen.(res.) Yair Naveh as
Deputy Chief of Staff. Naveh will thus return to the service and thus
replace Maj.Gen. Benny Ganz who is due to be discharged.
• As of last week, the UAV unit Sky Rider has gained its independence
from its former artillery mother unit. Its goal is to strengthen IDF
intelligence gathering capabilities. READ MORE
• The IDF held it largest ever commander sporting championships – over
7600 men and women officers took part in the championships which
took place Tuesday (Oct.6th)
Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi scored four victories.
IDF Spokesperson's Unit Public Affairs Branch
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Terrorists Involved in Shooting Attack Killed
The objective of the operation was to arrest those involved in the terror attack on August 31st. Photo:
The two Hamas terrorists involved in the August 31st shooting attack were killed last night (Oct. 8)
during a military operation in Hebron
Overnight, a joint IDF-ISA-Border Police arrest operation took place in Hebron. The objective of the
operation was to arrest those involved in the terror attack on August 31st, 2010 in which four Israelis
were killed: Yizhak and Talia Aimes, Avishai Shindler, and Kochba Even-Chaim.
During the operation, the wanted terror suspects opened fire at the IDF force, which then returned fire
and identified hitting one of the suspects.
Another suspect hid in a building which the force surrounded, calling on him to surrender. The suspect
refused to do so and opened fire at the forces. During the exchange of fire, forces employed engineering
tools in order to cause him to exit the building. The terrorist was ultimately killed.
In addition, six other terror suspects were arrested and transferred to the custody of security forces and
a number of AK-47 assault rifles were discovered.
Four Israeli civilians were murdered August 31st, 2010 while driving in their vehicle in a terrorist drive-
by shooting attack on Route 60 near Qiryat Arba, east of Hebron. Two men and two women, one of
whom was pregnant, from the nearby community of Bet Hagay, were the victims of this deadly attack.
Their names were Yizhak and Talia Aimes, Avishai Shindler and Kochba Even-Chaim.
Four Israeli civilians were murdered in a terrorist drive-by shooting attack August 31st, 2010 while
driving in their vehicle on Route 60 near Qiryat Arba, east of Hebron. Two men and two women, one of
whom was pregnant, from the nearby community of Bet Hagay were the victims of this deadly attack.
Their names were Yizhak and Talia Aimes, Avishai Shindler, and Kochba Even-Chaim.
Names of Terrorists Killed During Tonight's IDF Operation
Nashat Karmi- a 33 year old resident of Hebron, is a senior Hamas activist. Has been one of the heads
of the military wing of Hamas in Hebron and imprisoned in Israel in the past. He was released from
Israeli prison on August 2009, and returned to terror activity a short while after. He has been declared
a wanted suspect since the terror attack on August 31st.
Mammon Natsha - a 24 year old resident of Hebron was previously arrested in 2008 for his activity as
a member of Hamas.
Since the terror attack on August 31st, a number of arrests and investigations of facilitators have been
carried out. During these investigations, information regarding planned future terror attacks and the
re-establishment of the Hamas military wing in Hebron was revealed. The IDF will continue to pursue
terror organizations that seek to endanger the lives of Israeli civilians.
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Senior Terrorist Killed Thursday Night
Ahmad Al Ashkar, a high-ranking member of the “Palestinian Vultures” organization, was
planning an upcoming terror attack against Israel
In a joint IDF-ISA operation on Thursday night (Oct. 7), an IAF aircraft struck the car
in which a high-ranking operative of the “Palestinian Vultures” organization, Ahmad Al
Ashkar, was driving. A direct hit on the car was identified. According to intelligence, the
organization was planning to execute a terror attack against Israel in the coming days.
In a joint IDF- ISA operation late Wednesday night (Oct. 6), IAF aircraft struck two terror
targets in the northern Gaza Strip in response to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip aimed
at the Eshkol Regional Council, a day earlier.
The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens and will continue to act with
determination and strength against terror. The IDF holds Hamas solely responsible for
any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.
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IAF Thwarts Rocket Launch Attempt by Terrorist Squad
Earlier this morning, the IAF targeted and identified hitting a squad of terror operatives
who were preparing to fire rockets from the Northern Gaza strip into Israel.
More than 165 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israeli territory since the
beginning of 2010, and over 440 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel
since the end of Operation Cast Lead.
The IDF remains committed to protecting the citizens of Israel and will continue to
act against terror. The IDF holds Hamas solely responsible for terror emanating from
the Gaza Strip.
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From Sports Cars to Israel’s Defense
Two things about Amir Zaid are obvious at first glance: he’s passionate about cars and really interested in design.
One was a constant influence on his life almost from the get-go: since the late nineties, at the end of his studies, he
entered the world of graphic design. When internet was still in its infancy, he went from start-up to start-up and did
graphic design on computer screens. The world of cars, his real passion, remained an unachieved dream.
In fact, it was his true passion since childhood. “Already at age four I knew the names of every car in the street,” he
said, “they made me curious. I liked them, I missed them. But because there’s no place for a career in vehicles in
Israel, I had to be practical. I settled, and cars were pushed aside.”
And so, at age 31, Amir was a top-of-the-line graphic designer, happily married to Noa, with an Alpha Romeo car, an
apartment and a cat in Binyamina. And one bright day the decision was made.
“It’s hard to explain what made me do it,” he said, “but all of a sudden it was clear – it’s now or never. So I went online
and started the search. I found Scuola Politecnica di Design, a school for designing cars in Milan, which offered a
master’s track in two semesters. They said I could start studying there in two weeks. I answered that I would be very
happy to but only next year. So we went to Italy, traveled, checked it out, fell in love and returned. We took a year to
get organized and packed our lives in boxes. Then we moved.”
The symbiosis of design?
“It was an experience like no other in every
way. First of all, it was a culture market.
The studies, as exciting as they were, were
all in Italian. You quickly realize how new
immigrants feel,” Amir recalls. “It doesn’t
matter how intelligent you are, you are
lost and you stutter in a world that doesn’t
understand you. And you don’t always
understand it either. To this day I don’t know
what I learned in some of the courses,” he
said and laughed. “The Symbiosis of Design,
for example – I have no idea.”
“A small comfort was that most of the students were foreigners. They came from all over the world – England, Brazil,
Australia, Greece, even Dubai. But even among us there were huge differences. The program is for students with
background in design, but what kind of background is another question all together. It’s superfluous to mention that
those who dealt with car design were different from those who dealt with print and graphic design, like me.”
“There were points when I wondered for a moment if I made a mistake. I didn’t go there just for the experience, I
really wanted to succeed. But there was an advantage to my general ignorance. The people who came with previous
experience in car design were mostly fixed in and stuck on a certain type of thinking. I had tons of room to grow and
learn,” he said. “I remember being mesmerized by some of the professors, thrilled to be learning. During the year I
developed abilities in the realm of 3D models. When we presented our final projects, which were done in collaboration
with Lamborghini, one of the professional crew members of the company approached me and said ‘your model is the
most sensible one I saw here’. I didn’t get a job offer right away, but the year ended with a feeling of accomplishment.
A feeling of ‘I did it.’”
The recession – like reality TV
“And then your studies end, and you find yourself alone in the world. The car design field is a difficult one to work in,
especially for someone who comes from the outside. It’s very small. There are lots of schools, many students, and
very few positions. The brand model Alpha Romeo, for example, held in its hey-day 15 designers. The biggest of car
models, Fiat, holds between 30 and 40 positions.
“I considered working outside of Italy as well, but in my heart of hearts I wanted to stay. There is something in the
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character of Italy that makes sense for car design. The car, in a sense, is a reflection of the culture; and Italian culture is filled
with joy, amazing openness and a passion for life.”
So he stayed another five years. He began his journey as an unpaid intern in the Idea design studio, afterward working at
the Pininfarina antique design house, considered one of the most influential in the history of the vehicle and among others is
responsible for almost every model of the Ferari which came out. The longest period of time, interrupted though it was, was
spent at Fiat and was full of countless projects – from cars to tractors.
“At times it was a thrilling experience and at others a sad one,” he said. “On one hand, I reached the temple. I made my
childhood dream come true. Especially during my time at Fiat, I worked with people who were incredibly passionate about
the work. Even if designs were put aside, there was excitement in the designing process.”
Ultimately, what ended his Italian adventure was the economic recession. “It happened in stages. Toward the year 2009, life
became too stressful. Car makers were caught in the desperation of the situation. It was like being on reality TV. We started
out as eight designers, and then we were six, and then four. At the end we got the email that said the program is being frozen.
We thought a lot about where to go from here. My wife, Noa, was pregnant. In the end we decided to return to Israel.”
When Ferari meets the armed vehicle
In Israel, as was mentioned, there is no job market for car designing. What we have, despite that, is a huge defense market.
It was from there that an adventure of another type entirely began.
“While still in Italy, I understood that if I come back, I would work in the defense industry. I wanted to keep designing vehicles,
to do what I’m good at in Israel, too. And, what can you do, real budgets here lie in defense.”
So he began designing. Among the projects Amir worked on in the last year are attack vehicles, control rooms and other
objects. You can’t talk about most of them in detail. But here is an example: introducing the “Solitaire”.
In the past months Amir came into contact with Tamid Porat, a guru in the field of security design, who is credited among
other projects with designing the Tavor rifle. The first fruit of their collaborative labors is the autonomous “Solitaire” vehicle, a
surveying robot. It is built on the existing model of the Argo vehicle (“a sort of bathtub on six wheels” Amir said), and allows
for great movement in difficult terrains, use of communication systems and filming abilities including advanced optics such
as night vision and heat-activated vision.
About design and the ability to function
“Working on the Solitaire was an exciting experience,” Amir said. “it was one of those times you feel – I hit something here.
I designed something right. In the end, despite all the differences, there are a lot of similarities between work on sports cars
and work on security objects. In both cases the product has to be comfortable to operate and designed in a way that conveys
the right message.”
“The first thought that comes to mind when you say ‘robotic vehicle’,” he explains, “is something from science fiction. Huge
cars, complexity, something that looks like Avatar. But the truth is it’s the opposite. A security vehicle has a purpose. Often
there is no time to test it and get used to it, it has to work right away. So there is no place for decoration. Everything has to
be sharp and simple.
“With that, the design is critical. A lot of people don’t understand the importance of the right design, especially in this country.
It’s easy to think we live in a reality where there are more pressing matters than aesthetics. But if the vehicle doesn’t give a
sense of strength, if you look at it and don’t get right away that its purpose is security, something is missing. Conveying the
right message creates the basis for right action.
“It’s not an easy thing to do, most of the designs ultimately get stored away. But when you are able to create an exact design,
there is a strong sense that you made something crucial. It gives you the fuel to keep going.”
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An Olive Branch of Peace
IDF is currently working with Palestinians in the Judea and Samaria region to ensure that this year's olive
harvest will be successful and peaceful
"Sabah el Hir", said the Battalion Commander, wishing a good morning in Arabic. "Sabah El Nur," he was
answered with a smile. The morning is just dawning and forces are spread throughout the Talmon villages.
Between the unending green hills are hidden the olive groves. A woman wearing a red veil smiles at the
soldiers while carrying the purple olives which she has just picked from a tree. This is the season for the olive
harvest in the Judea and Samaria region. The harvest began this month and is expected to last until December.
Ironically, over the years the olive branch has become a media attention-grabbing source of friction. The olive
orchards, a main source of income for many Palestinians in the Judea and Samaria region, are at the heart of
explosive debates in clashes between Palestinian and Israeli residents there.
The military forces throughout the area during these months are stationed there to maintain a sense of calm
and to protect the normal fabric of life in the region. "The mission of the forces is to protect those who live here
and to ensure that the harvest is carried out in a calm, flowing and stable manner," Lt. Col. (res.) Assaf Eliyahu,
the Commander of the Patrolling Battalion of the Carmeli Reserves Brigade told his soldiers on the evening
before they went on duty.
The following morning he guarded the orchards with his advance command team. "Were there any arguments
between the groups?" he asks his reservists. "Everything was quiet" they respond. Lt. Col. Eliyahu continues
on towards the orchards and asks the harvesters in fluent Arabic how everything is. "Everything is calm. I
came to pick olives until four o'clock. The soldiers are fine and so are the residents," the Palestinian harvester
answered. He continues to explain about this year's harvest and about the growth in this year's crop, even
explaining the specific olives that he is harvesting to the soldiers.
The relative quiet in the region is quite encouraging. This year, in the majority of locations there was no need for coordination
of harvesting times between the various relevant bodies. The international and Israeli organizations which come to assist with
the work coordinate their activities with the Civil Administration and the IDF recognizes their desire to help the Palestinian
"There is no tolerance for damage. There is no preferred treatment"
The harvest has indeed begun peacefully, despite a number of issues which were raised between Palestinians and Israeli in
the area. The villages of J'ith, Farata and Sra, and the towns of Havat Gilad, Alon Moreh and Givat Ronen were the locations
of a number of violent incidents.
"I believe that the issue was created essentially due to provocation. It is a trend in recent years," Maj. (res.) Yisrael Shaykler
pointed out. "A little while back there was a complaint by one of the towns regarding harvesters arriving at an undesignated
time. We arrived and let the Palestinians continue. We understand that people leave work and school for this harvest. We
let them finish. Of course there were other incidents, but they are quite rare, and usually they too were solved calmly without
too much confrontation."
The reserves forces currently in the area know how to deal with such rare incidents calmly and maturely. That being said, this
population demographic is treated not only during the harvest. "While still in regular compulsory service, the commanders
clarify that first and foremost you are a human and only afterwards you are a soldier," one of the reservists explains. "The
Palestinians are people like us and the IDF emphasizes that we must treat them accordingly. If there are other incidents, they
are the exception to the rule."
Cpt. (res.) Dudu Ravivo is already 52 years old and volunteers in reserves. He took part in many widespread operational
activities during his service. "It was a national motif. The olive signifies something," he says. "Because of the media focus
there are many more disruptions during the harvest period. In recent years the directives are stricter than in the past. The
soldier is given clear orders. There is no tolerance for any damage caused to anyone. Our battalion is at the highest level
of command and we first and foremost place the greatest emphasis on professionalism. There is no preferred treatment to
The Head Reserves Officer, Brig. Gen. Shuki Ben-Anat, arrived to visit the Patrolling Battalion of the Carmeli Reserves
Brigade at work. He spoke to IDF Wesbite, describing the training that reservists must undergo to work with the civilian
Palestinian population. "A reservist is someone who has experienced life. He has clear thoughts and good judgment and he
can deal with friction. There is an advantage to having maturity and experience."
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The values of responsibility and having a mission guiding the Israel Defense Force, manifestations of the spirit of the IDF, direct
its soldiers and officers also on missions far from home. The knowledge, professionalism, operational experience and skills of
the Medical Corps and the Search and Rescue Unit of the Home Front Command are used to save lives in countries undergoing
humanitarian crises and natural disasters.
The State of Israel comes to the assistance of nations large and small, rich and poor. The unique hallmark of Israeli missions
lies in their professionalism, rich experience accrued over many years and dedication, whose roots are found in the spirit and
values characterizing the IDF.
This overview presents in brief some of the important missions in which the Medical Corps and the Search and Rescue Unit
participated: extracting people caught in ruins, rapidly constructing field hospitals, undertaking complex surgeries and assisting
in difficult births in the field, and supplying medication and medical equipment. These missions have generated a great deal of
wonder and admiration on the part of international professional organizations as well as pride in the people of Israel and Jews
all over the world.
Mexico City, 1985
On September 19, 1985, two tremendous earthquakes shook Mexico City and left massive destruction and thousands of injuries
and people trapped under rubble in their wake.
A delegation comprised of the IDF Search and Rescue Unit equipped with dozens of tons of medical and humanitarian equipment
was speedily dispatched to the disaster zone: medication, tents, rescue equipment, experts from the Search and Rescue Unit
and medical teams from the Medical Corps. Those involved earned widespread international respect and admiration.
IDF Teams Provide Help in Disaster Zones
The IDF mission to Haiti,
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On December 7, 1988, a powerful earthquake struck Armenia, leaving tens of thousands dead and injured and many more
Search and rescue teams as well as a field hospital, courtesy of the Medical Corps, were dispatched; these were beefed up
thanks to medical experts called into reserve duty, including experts in pediatrics, intensive care and obstetrics. The Israeli
search and rescue teams and medical personnel helped save many lives.
An IDF delegation comprised of the Search and Rescue Unit of the Home Front Command and medical teams from the
Medical Corps was sent to Turkey in the wake of an earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale, that struck in August
1999. More than 40,000 people lost their lives and 27,000 were injured.
All night long, the Israeli team unpacked its equipment and 48 hours after the disaster struck a field hospital had been erected
in the city of Adafasi. Over the next two weeks, the hospital would take in 1,200 injured; its operating rooms would carry out
46 emergency surgeries; and the delivery room would bring 15 newborns into the world.
In January 2001 an earthquake struck Gujarat, India, leaving tens of thousands of people injured. The State of Israel was
among the first nations to respond with an offer of humanitarian assistance after it became clear that the local medical system
had been badly affected. The IDF ended up erecting a field hospital in the city of Bhuj.
During the two weeks in which the field hospital operated, over 1,200 patients were treated there, 127 people were hospitalized,
54 surgeries were carried out, and 13 births were attended.
Sri Lanka, 2004
At the end of December 2004, a massive earthquake struck the Indian Ocean, generating lethal tsunamis that flooded and
destroyed widespread areas in Southeast Asia.
The Israeli search and rescue team left for Sri Lanka as soon as word of the disaster spread. The delegation included the
head of the Trauma Center of the Chief Medical Officer’s Command as well as three physicians from Hadassah Hospital, a
representative from the Home Front Command and a representative from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In conjunction with the search and rescue force, it was decided that Israel would send assistance in the form of equipment
only, despite the fact that a large medical contingent was waiting at Ben-Gurion International Airport for a flight to the disaster
To comply with this request, large amounts of medical equipment from the Medical Corps’ warehouses, logistical supplies
and food were sent, along with mental health professionals from the Ministry of Health, including the head of the IDF’s mental
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The most recent event that occasioned the sending of a humanitarian mission was the earthquake that struck Haiti. In the
wake of the earthquake, which measured 7.3 on the Richter Scale, a delegation left for the Caribbean on January 14, 2010.
The disaster that struck the tiny nation was overwhelming. Many infrastructures collapsed, hundreds of thousands of Haitians
were injured, killed, or trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.
Many nations around the world started sending humanitarian assistance to Haiti, including Israel, which decided to send an
Israeli military mission. The Home Front Command and the Medical Corps were chosen to lead the delegation because of
their experience and proven abilities in this field.
Within a mere 8 hours, the Israeli medical delegation had erected the largest field hospital serving the victims of the disaster;
it started accepting patients the minute it was complete. In the first days of the disaster, the IDF hospital was the most
advanced hospital operating on Haitian soil.
1,111 people were treated at the hospital; 317 surgeries were carried out; and 16 infants came into the world there.
Wars and Crises
As a result of the blood-drenched civil war between the Hutus and the Tutsis, millions of refugees massed in temporary
refugee camps in the countries bordering Rwanda.
During the night of July 23, 1994, an airborne delegation of Soldiers Without Borders from the Medical Corps left Israel for
Zaire in order to help Rwandan refugees whose lives were endangered.
The delegation, which arrived in three rounds, included 270 medical professionals (soldiers and officer) and vast amounts of
medical equipment, food and clothing.
The Medical Corps deployed a field hospital that included an emergency room, an operating room and an ICU, thereby
extending life-saving medical and humanitarian help to the refugees. Thanks to this activity, the spreading cholera epidemic
was brought under control within a month.
On April 6, 1999, the Life Ring mission of 60 professionals headed by the Medical Corps left Israel to extend assistance to
the Albanian refugees in Kosovo.
In the city of Skopje, the Macedonian capital, the mission deployed a field hospital with 100 beds, operated by experts in
internal medicine, pediatrics, epidemiology and infectious diseases, orthopedics and gynecology, as well as paramedics,
nurses, medics and X-ray technicians. The hospital also included a medical lab, pharmacy and operating room.
The IDF earned high praise from the NATO command, the U.N. and the local Macedonian population for this activity.
On July 19, 1994, a carbomb rocked the Jewish community building in Buenos Aires. Hundreds of people lost their lives or
were maimed in the explosion, and many were buried live under the rubble. Israel dispatched a search and rescue mission
to Argentina; it included dozens of physicians, officers and soldiers whose job was to help in the search efforts, save lives
and provide medical treatment.
In November 2002, a lethal terrorist attack was carried out in Mombasa, Kenya, where large groups of Israeli tourists were on
holiday. A mission of the Medical Corps, headed by the deputy to the Chief Medical Officer of the IDF, arrived on the scene
to help move the victims to Israel for further medical treatment. 16 people were killed in this attack, including 3 Israelis; 70
tourists, including 17 Israelis, were injured
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Final Agreement Signed for the Purchase of F-35 Fighters
The deal, approved by Defense Minister Ehud Barak last August, was signed on Thursday (Oct. 7) in New York.
It is officially confirmed: at the ceremony held on Thursday (Oct. 7) in New York, the CEO of the Defense Ministry, Maj. Gen.
(res.) Udi Shani, signed the agreement between Israel and the US for the IDF purchase of the first operational squadron of
F-35 aircrafts for an amount of $2.75 billion.
The delivery of the aircrafts, costing $96 million each, is scheduled to begin in 2015 and should last two years. The agreement
was signed upon approval by the government, the Knesset and the Ministry of Defense.
“This is a historic event and a new era in Israel’s security and strategic strength which will allow Israel to maintain its military
qualitative edge in order to cope with the challenges both near and far for many years; the deal also holds tremendous
importance for the national economy through the manufacturer’s commitment to purchase billions of dollars worth of
equipment from Israeli industries”, the CEO of the Defense Ministry said during the conference.
Shani added that it is Israel’s intention to acquire more aircrafts of this type. “We have an option to purchase more aircrafts”,
he noted, adding that “the deal is an additional expression of the strategic alliance and of our friendly relations with the
United States, and of their support of the Israeli qualitative edge”.
The F-35 Lightning is the Stealth fighter jet produced by the American Lockheed Martin company, and is considered to be
the most advanced fighter jet developed in the world today. It is a plane suitable for an extensive scope of missions, intended
both for attack and interception, whose development began in 2003 in a joint initiative by the US and the UK.a
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Next Deputy Chief of the General Staff: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yair Naveh
Maj. Gen. (res.) Yair Naveh has been officially approved for the role of Deputy Chief of the General Staff
Minister of Defense, Ehud Barak, approved the recommendation by the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi,
to appoint Maj. Gen. (res.) Yair Naveh for the role of Deputy Chief of the General Staff.
Maj. Gen. (res.) Naveh will return to service and begin the position of Deputy Chief of the General Staff in the coming weeks
replacing Maj. Gen. Beni Gantz who will resign from his service in the IDF. The appointment of Maj. Gen. (res.) Naveh was
done at the suggestion of the future Chief of the General Staff, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant.
Maj. Gen. Yair Naveh was born in the year 1957 and was drafted in 1975 to the Golani Brigade. Over the years he served in
many high ranking roles in the brigade, from Company Commander to Brigade Commander.
In 2003, as a Major General, he was appointed Commander of IDF Home Front Command. He served in this position until
2004, after which he was appointed Commander of GOC Army Headquarters, a position he held until 2007 when he retired
from the IDF. Maj. Gen. Naveh has a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science and a master’s degree in Business
Management. He graduated from the College for National Security with honors and from the School for Command. He is
married and a father of four.
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The Rochev Hashamayim Unit’s New Independence
As of last week, the UAV unit Rochev Hashamayim gained its independence, its goal of strengthening IDF intelligence
gathering well on the way
It’s official: on October 10th, the new unit Rochev Hashamayim was declared completely independent. At a ceremony
held for the occasion attended, among others, by GOC Army Headquarters Commander, Maj. Gen. Sami Turgeman,
and Palmachim IAF base Commander, Brig. Gen. Itay Reiss, the unit’s new symbol was revealed: a winged horse with a
sword in the background.
Thus far, the Rochev Hashamayim Battalion was subordinate to theArtillery Corps’ UAV unit but will now be an independent
battalion in every respect. In the coming year, the unit is expected to be transferred from the Palmachim airbase to its
permanent location at base Julis.
“Rochev Hashamayim’s function is to equip the regiment commander and other commanders with video recordings”,
explained Lt. Eliyah Keffah, Deputy Commander of the Operational Company in the Rochev Hashamayim unit. “The
teams are trained for various missions, with the goal of encouraging the enlistment of many more soldiers.”
Soldiers learn to operate the Elbit company’s UAVs and are thus able to provide an updated snapshot of the battlefield
at any moment. The tiny plains fly above the soldiers’ heads, their cameras broadcasting images to those deciphering
footage on land.
A special on-land team programs the flying object, setting its route before its takeoff, if necessary also being able to end
its flight midair. The hope is in the future, a representative team from Rochev Hashamayim will join each infantry battalion,
its purpose to improve the IDF’s intelligence gathering abilities.
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IDF Commanders’ Championship Day
The annual Commanders’ Championship Day was held on Tuesday (Oct. 6); Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi scored four
The 2010 IDF Commanders’ Championship ended on Tuesday afternoon (Oct. 6) with the main event being a soccer match
between the General Staff team and the Maccabi Haifa team, at the Wingate Institute. The tense match, characterized by
remarkable skills from both teams, ended in a 4:4 tie.
The General Staff team was led by the Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, who was assisted by former
professional player Eyal Berkovic. The first half started with a save for the General Staff team by GOC Home Front Command,
Maj. Gen. Yair Golan, the team’s goalkeeper. After Maccabi Haifa scored the first goal, Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi managed to save
his team’s honor and also scored a goal.
After Maccabi Haifa’s second goal, Lt. Gen. Ashkenazi scored a second goal, but the 2:2 tie wouldn’t last more than two
minutes, when a third goal was scored for Maccabi Haifa. Later in the game, the Chief of Staff scored two additional goals,
one of them after a great play by GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant. But the joy of victory was premature, as
Maccabi Haifa managed to score once more on the General Staff goalie, resulting in a 4:4 tie.
The IDF and the commanders take fitness seriously
Over 7,000 male and female officers participated in the IDF combat fitness competitions during the Commanders Championship
which has been held now for several years and constitutes the flagship event of the Ground Forces’ Combat Fitness Division,
designed for improving the physical fitness and health of career personnel.
The Head of the Combat Fitness Division, Col. Dr. Avi Moyal told IDF Website before the competitions that “this is the
fulfillment of a dream. The improvements being undertaken in this field by the army are unparalleled in the world. We view
this day as a pivotal event of the year. It warms the heart to see that the IDF and its commanders are taking the issue of
Teams of officers from all the IDF units had been training for the event for the past few months and participated in the various
competitions including an endurance race, a navigation race, swimming, football, basketball, beach volleyball, mountain
biking, table tennis and more.
At the end of the ceremony, trophies were awarded to the winners of the various competitions by the Chief of General Staff
along with the Commander of the Ground Forces, Maj. Gen. Shlomo Turgemon, Chief Infantry and Paratrooper Officer, Brig.
Gen. Yossi Bachar and Head of the Combat Fitness Division, Col. Dr. Avi Moyal.
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