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What is the IDF? The powerful military of the State of Israel on land, in the air and sea

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Israel Defense Forces – or IDF – represents all of Israel’s military forces. It was established in 1948, two short weeks after Israel declared its independence against Arab forces.

“The purpose of the IDF is to preserve the State of Israel, to protect its independence, and to foil attempts by its enemies to disrupt the normal life within it,” says the IDF’s website. The IDF consists of ground forces, much like the U.S. Army, and includes the air force, and navy.

Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists attacked Israel with barrages of rockets, killing at least 800 people and wounding at least 2,000, beginning the morning of October 7. Thousands of rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip in a surprise ambush and Palestinians everywhere were called to attack Israelis by a senior Hamas military commander, Mohammad Deif. The IDF claimed to have blocked many rockets with the Iron Dome, Israel’s missile defense system.

The Iron Dome is the Israeli military’s first line of defense, but not the last. David’s Sling is the secondary line of defense, and the Arrow is the third. All three systems are designed to combat missiles and rockets at various distances.

The Iron Dome has warded off thousands of rockets and missiles and Israeli officials have reported 90% effectiveness against violent floods of mechanical weaponry.

WHAT IS ISRAEL’S FIRST LINE OF DEFENESE, THE IRON DOME?

IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said in a video posted on the IDF website on October 8, 2023, “Anyone who took part in these attacks will pay a heavy price.”

Israel military

An Israeli AH-64 Apache longbow helicopter performs during an air show at the graduation ceremony of Israeli Air Force pilots at the Hatzerim base in the Negev desert, near the southern city of Beer Sheva, on June 29, 2023. (Photo by JACK GUEZ / AFP) (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images) (JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Biden administration ordered the U.S. military to provide aid to the IDF and ensure they’re equipped for war. The military forces have shot and killed gunmen who looked to enter into Israel through Lebanon, though it is not clear how many Hamas terrorists were killed.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally declared war on October 8. The IDF struck back against Hamas targets resulting in the death of at least 198 Palestinians, according to Gaza health officials.

“There are tens of thousands of soldiers in the area surrounding Gaza and we will continue to deploy more until we neutralize every single terrorist that is in Israeli territory,” Hagari said.

Israel forces roll out

Israeli soldiers head south near Ashkelon, Israel, Israel, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023.  (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg)

“The attack was in the ground, and the air, and also through the sea,” said IDF International Spokesperson Lt. Col. Richard Hecht in a video posted to IDF’s X account, formerly known as Twitter. “They didn’t go for military targets. They went for civilians. They went for grandmothers, children, babies.”

WHAT IS HAMAS? AN OVERVIEW OF THE ISLAMIC GROUP THAT ATTACKED ISRAEL

In the video, Hecht detailed the surprise attack on the people of Israel. He contended civilians have gone missing, military personnel have been killed and that there have already been stories of heroism by Israelis.

“The style of attack is barbaric,” Hecht said. “In a way this is our 9/11.”

Rep. Brian Mast posted Sunday to his account on X, formerly known as Twitter, in support of the Israel and the IDF and called for the U.S. to “stand firm with Israel” as well. Mast is a Republican congressman from Florida who volunteered with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) after retiring from the U.S. Army.

Israel defense force

Israeli forces establish heavily armed control points along the border as Israel tightens measures by the army, police and other security forces after Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood in Sderot, Israel on October 08, 2023. (Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“As the only Member of Congress who has worn the uniform of both the U.S. Army and the Israeli Defense Forces, I know that those on the ground are willing to give their last breath for their country and for their friends, family, and neighbors. My prayers are with them,” he posted.

According to the IDF’s website, Israeli soldiers are expected to uphold traditions of the IDF, of the Jewish people, the State of Israel and “universal moral values based on the value and dignity of human life.”

In a post on the aforementioned site, CPT Daniel, the Chief Rabbi of the Givati Brigade wrote to Israeli soldiers on the eve of Yom Kippur, “You have the honor of protecting an army base in the State of Israel and which is a big Mitzvah (a good deed). For thousands of years, Jews have dreamed of protecting the State of Israel. You have the opportunity to live out the words of the prophets: And may our eyes see your return to Zion, with mercy.”

ISRAEL, HAMAS TERRORISTS AND THE REOCCURRING BATTLES AROUND THE GAZA STRIP

Israel Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said at the IDF Southern Command in Beersheba, “I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip.” He explained they will cut off electricity, and close off much including access to food and fuel. “We are fighting human animals and we are acting accordingly.”

On Monday, the IDF recaptured areas of the Gaza Strip previously infiltrated by the Hamas terrorists.

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