Israel Internal Security Case Study Case Study

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What are the recognized threats

Recognized threats on a national and international level include, expansion of international terrorism, as a result of universal fundamentalist Arab calls for violence against those who oppress Arabs. Israel is at the center of this conflict as the most regionally active, non-Arab state and as a result of historical actions taken by it to maintain itself and its territories, both recognized and occupied.

Short contemporary history of the threats

Description of known terrorist activity (both groups and incidents)

As has been said before terrorist activity has ebbed and flowed over the years, the most frequent current increase in threats has come from non-PLO affiliated sources, sometimes national sometimes international. The Hamas are currently particularly active in bombings, as can be seen from the statistics below while other groups such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committees, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and others frequently take responsibility for planned attacks, mostly suicide bombings in civilian populations and at checkpoints. There are also frequently non-affiliated rouge suicide bombings which are an aspect of the Palestinian foundational ideals regarding the righteous actions of martyrs. Martyrs (suicide bombers) are frequently very young and inconspicuous, such as young boys and now young pregnant women


Recognized terrorist organizations include the Palestinian Liberation Organization (les so since 1993), Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al' Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committees, and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. The threat of non-affiliate individual suicide bombers is also extremely high in Israel, as individual Palestinians mainly frequently utilize this form of terrorism to try to destabilize Israel. Hamas, in particular has a relatively high rate of military like terrorist attacks using bombing and antiaircraft equipment to attack Israeli cars roads and people, while the PRC and AMB coordinate and train individuals to perform suicide bomb attacks. Nearly all the acts of terrorism against Israel, both domestically and abroad are deliberately committed against Israeli civilians, hence true to the nature of terrorism.

Bombings / attacks

In 1993 Israel and the PLO signed a Declaration of Principles which curtailed, for a short time the number of attacks by official PLO members, but did not stop terrorism, Instead the attacks and planning where simply shifted toward organizations with no direct link to the PLO but resoundingly similar claims of injustice and manifests of intention. Despite this change there were still 256 civilian and Israeli soldier deaths in Israel as a result of terrorist attacks, between September 1993 and December of 2000, of one nature or another. The statistics that follow represent attacks between 2000 and 2006. (Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs NP)

Between September 29, 2000 and May 1, 2006, Magen David Adom treated a total of 7,844 casualties as follows:

999 killed, 642 severely injured, 940 moderately, and 5,263 lightly injured, among them 11 MDA staff members.

(IDF casualties treated by IDF medical personnel are not included in these figures.)

Note: This list also includes 18 Israelis killed abroad in terror attacks directed specifically against Israeli targets, and 3 American diplomatic personnel killed in Gaza.

Number of Israelis killed in terror attacks

Number of Israelis wounded in terror attacks

Number of suicide terror attacks

Number of Israelis killed in suicide attacks

Number of Kassam rockets fired at Israel

Israili Ministry of Foreign Affairs NP) the above statistics include a few numbers of attacks that took part on foreign soil as well as a few foreign nationals killed in Israel by terrorism, though they do not include Palestinian or other nationalities casualties, nor do they include terrorist attacks associated with foreign terrorist organizations.

Financing of terror groups

Financing of terrorist organizations comes mainly from Palestinian individuals. Some fundraising is done covertly within fundamentalist organizations, such as fundamentalist mosques and schools. Funding of international terrorist organizations is worldwide, consisting of legitimate and illegal businesses, drugs sales, identity theft and scams.

Whittaker 133)

Description of important internal security policies, laws, legal definition of terrorism, etc.

Description of principal law enforcement and intelligence organizations-extent, powers, oversight, etc.

To a large degree the military is the main form of law enforcement in Israel, and some would argue that Israel is a police state. Military presence is a commonplace situation, given the almost daily threat of terrorism. Military service is also compulsory for Israeli Jews and Druzes, both men and women from age 17 and voluntary for
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other minority groups in the nation, including Christians, Muslims and Circassians. For women conscript service is 21 months while for men it is 36 months. (CIA World Factbook NP)

Military branches: Israel Defense Forces (IDF): Ground Corps (including Pioneer Fighting Youth (Nahal)), Navy, Air Force (including Air Defense Forces); note - historically there have been no separate Israeli military services

Military manpower - availability:

males age 15-49: 1,581,883 females age 15-49: 1,532,234 (2004 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:

males: 51,054 females: 53,515 (2004 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $9.11 billion (FY03)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: $9.11 billion (FY03)

The Principle, non-military Police and intelligence organizations

Israel in addition to military police keeping also has civilian police force. They are responsible for domestic policing issues and public safety as well as some local and regional responsibilities for specialized policing with regard to counterterrorism. The border police, which are often supplemented by military personnel are the Magav, and they are a combat arm of the civilian police force. The Yaman (Special Police Unit) and the Yasam (Special Patrol Unit) are elite counterterrorism units in the civilian police force. These agencies are supported by an all volunteer Civil Guard, who are trained and armed and serve the purpose of keeping the peace after events, while police are in transit to a scene.

Smith et al. 397)

The intelligence community of Israel consists of several agencies, all with different roles, rights and responsibilities. The Shabak or the Israeli Security Agency is responsible for the protection of high ranking officials, prevention of violent insurrection and to find and detain terrorist cells before damage is done. Mossad on the other hand is responsible for intelligence collecting, covert actions and counter-terrorism in internal and external national security issues (it is also the oldest of the institutions developed in the 1950s) Aman is responsible for military intelligence collection and produces information for the parliament and the prime minister including national and international safety and security information. Aman also demonstrates broad responsibility for cross-border operations, and is equal to the military in its service, rank and responsibility.


The powers of these organizations are relatively broad, as national and international security is an absolute necessity in Israel and realistically many individuals make broad ascension to the fact that constant threat of violence is present and therefore civil rights might need to be occasionally surrendered.

Bar-Joseph) Secrecy is a frequent occurrence, as information regarding threat is seen as essential to the intelligence community and the overall safety of the nation. These agencies therefore have broad lenience in making decisions about the importance and value of information. Civil demands for open information, as well as social responsibility have been slow in coming to Israel, as it has been in a constant state of struggle for its entire existence, some would even venture to say a perpetual state of war. The resulting forbearance of intelligence organizations is therefore a significant aspect of state protection and strength. All the organizations may seem to some to be superfluous, and yet each agency fulfills different roles of intelligence gathering, dissemination and to some degree collaboration to meet the common goal of terrorism prevention.

Hough 79)

Each agency evolved to fulfill a particular role that was seen as lacking, and each evolved in a state of a current threat. The military organizations evolved as a result of many cross-border conflicts. The expansion of each also evolved as a result of particular events, such as situations of extreme social unrest, border conflict and particularly heinous terrorist acts.

Incidents that have defined the organizations

Israel too has used military might to take on an elusive enemy. Controversial invasions of the Lebanon in 1982 and 1996 sought to flush out the PLO and other Arab nationalist bases and secure their northern border. In a similar vein, Turkish actions against Kurdish separatists have included incursions into Iraq where the PKK have strongholds. These limited military engagements have tended to be largely unsuccessful and, possibly, even counter-productive. The U.S. strikes of 1998 hit an innocent target in Sudan and the Israeli incursion of 1982 is best remembered for a massacre in a Palestinian refugee camp. Additionally, the greatest Libyan-backed anti-American atrocity occurred two years after the 1986 Tripoli bombings and the PLO and al-Qa'ida were far from deterred by the state actions targeting them.

Hough 79)

Internal security relationship with the U.S.

The U.S. And Israel have partnered extensively over the years in the development of security plans and programs as well as with regard to sharing intelligence information. The partnership has created a demonstrative link…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Bar-Joseph, Uri. Intelligence Intervention in the Politics of Democratic States: The United States, Israel, and Britain. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1995.

Ben-Rafael, Eliezer. Israel-Palestine: A Guerrilla Conflict in International Politics / . New York: Greenwood Press, 1987.

Bensahel, Nora, and Daniel L. Byman, eds. The Future Security Environment in the Middle East: Conflict, Stability, and Political Change. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 2003.

Buzan, Barry, and Ole Waever. Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

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