Israeli casualties of war

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Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz salutes Yom Kippur War casualties at an official annual memorial service for fallen soldiers.

Israeli casualties of war, in addition to those of Israel's seven major wars, include 9,745 soldiers and security forces personnel killed in "miscellaneous engagements and terrorist attacks",[1] which includes security forces members killed during military operations, by fighting crime, natural disasters, diseases, traffic or labor accidents and disabled veterans whose disabilities contributed to their deaths.[2] Between 1948 and 1997, 20,093[3] Israeli soldiers were killed in combat, 75,000 Israelis were wounded, and nearly 100,000[4] Israelis were considered disabled army veterans. On the other hand, in 2010 Yom Hazikaron, Israel honored the memory of 22,684 soldiers killed since 1860 in the line of duty for the independence, preservation and protection of the nation, and 3,971 civilian terror victims.[2][5][6] The memorial roll, in addition to IDF members deceased, also include fallen members of the Shin Bet security service, the Mossad intelligence service, the Israel Police, the Border Police, the Israel Prisons Service, other Israeli security forces, the pre-state Jewish underground, and the Jewish Brigade and the Jewish Legion (which served alongside British forces in World War II and World War I respectively).

According to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Anti-Defamation League, a total of 1,194 Israelis and foreigners were killed[7][8] and 7,000 wounded[9] between September 2000 and August 2010 by Palestinian terror attacks (most of them during 2000–2005 Second Intifada); while more than 3,000 Israelis[10][11] have been killed and 25,000 have been wounded as a result of Palestinian violence and hostile enemy action (without including wars) since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 until today. Another 685 Jewish residents of Mandatory Palestine were killed between 1920 and 1947 as a result of Arab riots, British anti-Zionist operations and World War II attacks.[12][13]

Palestinians killed 1,074 Israelis and wounded 7,520 between 2000 and 2005.[14]

The following tables summarize Israeli casualties by war, conflict or incident.

Prior to Israel's independence[edit]

Conflicts with Arabs[edit]

Conflicts prior to Israel's independence Military deaths Civilian deaths Total deaths Military and/or Civilian wounded Total casualties
Battle of Tel Hai 6 0 6 0 6
1920 Nebi Musa riots 0 5 5 216 221
1921 Jaffa riots 0 47[15] 47 146 193
1921 Jerusalem riots 0 5 5 Unknown Unknown
1929 Buraq riots 0 133 133 339 472
1933 Palestine riots 0 0 0 Unknown Unknown
1936–1939 Arab revolt 0 415+[16] 415 1,200+ 1,615
Jewish insurgency in Mandatory Palestine At least 34 members of Palmach[17] Unknown 50-100 Unknown Unknown
1947–48 Civil War 895 408[18] 1,303+ 2,000[19] 3,303

Sinking of ships carrying Jewish immigrants[edit]

In the White Paper of 1939 the British government limited Jewish immigration to Palestine to 75,000 over the following five years.[20] European Jews were anxious for ways to leave Europe, but for the most part there were few options. No countries were willing to take Jewish immigrants. However, some Eastern European states were willing to give transit visas. During World War II, many countries denied or severely limited Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust, and Palestine was one of the few destinations available.[21]

In post-Holocaust Europe, the 1,000,000 Jewish survivors were classified as "non-repatrifiable" by the Austrian and German government. In other words, Jews were not "officially allowed to leave the countries of Central and East Europe" by the allied powers, nor were they permitted to settle in Palestine by the British.

An unknown number of Jewish refugees perished en route from European ports to Palestine, and over 30,000 holocaust survivors who successfully immigrated were interned by the British in POW camps.[22] Many immigrant ships were sunk during the British blockade.[citation needed]

Note: Graph is not comprehensive

Casualties attributed to Britain's naval blockade of Mandatory Palestine Deaths Survivors
SS Patria (sunk by the Jewish paramilitary group Haganah) 260[23] 1,510
MV Struma (sunk by Soviet submarine in the Black Sea on World War II) 785[24] 1[15]
SS Bulgaria 280 70
MV Mefküre (sunk by Soviet submarine in the Black Sea in World War II) 345 5
SS Exodus 3 4,512

Regular conflicts[edit]

Bold indicates conflicts considered wars by the Israeli Ministry of Defense (as they were named by Israel):[25]

Conflict Military deaths Civilian deaths Total deaths (not including foreigners) Military and/or Civilian wounded Total casualties
War of Independence 4,000 2,400 6,373[1] 15,000[26] 21,400
1951–1955 fedayeen attacks including Retribution operations Unknown Unknown 400[27]-967[28] 900[27]-1,300[29] 1,300–2,267
1956–1967 fedayeen attacks Unknown Unknown 178[12] 1,574+[30] 1,752+
1968–1987 fedayeen attacks Unknown Unknown 567[12] Unknown Unknown
Sinai War 231[1] 0 231 899 1,130
Samu Incident 1 0 1 10 11
Six Day War 776[31] 20[32] 796 4,517 5,293
War of Attrition 1,424[33][34] 127[34] 1,551 2,700 4,251+
Palestinian insurgency in South Lebanon unknown unknown unknown unknown unknown
Yom Kippur War 2,656 0 2,656 9,000 11,656
Operation Litani 18[35] 0 18 113[35] 131
First Lebanon War 675 50 725 6,500[36][37][38] 7,225
South Lebanon conflict (1982–2000) 256 90 636 1,200 1,836
First Intifada 1987–1993 60[39] 100[39] 160 500 660
Palestinian political violence 1993–2000 170[40] 99 269 400 669
Second Intifada 2000–2008 including Operation Defensive Wall, Operation Rainbow and Operation Days of Penitence (fatalities since the outbreak of the Second Intifada and until Operation Cast Lead) 332[10] 731[10] 1,063 8,800[41][42] 9,863[43]
2000–2006 Shebaa Farms conflict 16 7 23 19 42
Second Lebanon War 121 44 165 2,067 2,237[44]
Operation Cast Lead 10[45] 3 13 518 531
Current Palestinian and foreigner violence in Israel and the Palestinian Authority and Gaza Strip (since 19 January 2009) including Operation Pillar of Defense (excluding Operation Protective Edge) 16[46][47][48][49][50] 42[46][51][52][53][54][55][56] 58[7] 322[57][58][59][60] 380+
2010 Israel–Lebanon border clash and Hanikra border clash 2[61][62] 0 2 1[63] 3
Golan clashes 0 1[64] 1 10[64][65][66] 11
Operation Protective Edge 66 5 71 530 601

Terror and other attacks 1948-1967[edit]

Terror and other attacks 1968–1987[edit]

Note: Table is not comprehensive

Terrorism and other attacks 1968–1987 Military deaths Civilian deaths (including foreigners) Total deaths Military and/or Civilian wounded Total casualties
Hijacking of El Al Flight 253 0 1 1 1 2
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine attacks Athens Airport following the Hijacking of El Al Flight 426. 0 1[67] 1 1 2
September 1968 Tel Aviv bombings 0 1 1 71 72[68]
November 1968 Mahaneh Yehuda car bomb attack 0 12 12 52 64[68]
February 1969 Jerusalem bombing 0 2 2 20 22[68]
October 1969 Haifa apartment bombings 0 4 4 20 24[68]
February 1970 El Al bus attack 0 1 1 8 9[67]
13 February 1970 Swissair attack 0 47[67][69] 47 unknown 47+
1970 Avivim school bus massacre 0 12 12 25 37[68]
Dawson's Field hijackings 0 0 0 1 1[68]
1971 bombing Ben Yehuda attack 0 0 0 0 0
Hijacking of Sabena Flight 572 5[70] 0 5 1 6[70]
1972 Lod Airport massacre 0 26 26 80 non-Israelis 106+[68]
1972 Munich massacre 1 11 12 0 12
1974 Kiryat Shmona massacre 0 18 18 Unknown 18+
1974 Ma'alot massacre 0 27 27 78 105
Hijacking of TWA Flight 841 2 86 88 0 88
1974 bombing Ben Yehuda attack 0 0 0 13 13
10 February Munich airport attack 12 0 12 0 12[71]
1975 Savoy hotel attack 3 8 11 Unknown Unknown
1975 Ben Yehuda attack 0 15 15 77 92
April 1976 bombing Ben Yehuda attack 0 0 0 0 0
1976 bombing Ben Yehuda attack 0 0 0 33 33
Hijacking of Air France Flight 139, precipitating Operation Entebbe 1 4 5 14 19
1978 Coastal Road massacre 1 38 39 71 110+
1979 bombing Ben Yehuda attack 0 1 1 13 14
1979 Nahariya attack 1 5 6 Unknown Unknown
1980 Misgav-Am attack 1 4 5 15 25
1981 bombing Ben Yehuda attack 0 0 0 1 1
1982 Tyre suicide bombing 75 27 102 55 157
1983 Tyre suicide bombing 28 32 60 40 100
1984 bus 300 incident 0 1 1 7 8
1984 bombing Ben Yehuda attack 0 0 0 0 0
1985 Ras Burqa massacre 0 7 7 4 11
1985 Egypt Air attack 0 60 60 unknown 60
1987 Northern Border attack 6 0 6[70] 8 14

Attacks against Israeli diplomatic missions[edit]

Terrorist attacks against Israeli diplomatic missions Israeli deaths Other deaths Total deaths Israeli and/or foreigner wounded Total casualties
1969 Israel embassies attack[72] 0 0 0 3 3
1970 Israeli Consulate attack in Asuncion[72] 1 0 1 1 2
1972 Israeli Embassy attack in Brussels[72] 0 0 0 1 1
1972 Embassy attack in Istanbul[67][71] 1 0 1 0 1
1972 Israeli Embassy employee attack[72] 1 0 1 0 0
1972 Israeli Embassy attack in Bangkok[72] 0 0 0 0 0
1973 Israeli Embassy Air Force Attache attack in Washington[72] 1 0 1 0 1
1979 Israeli Ambassador assassination attempt in Lisbon[72] 1 0 1 3 4
1981 Israeli Embassy attack in Vienna[72] 0 0 0 1 1
1982 Israeli Embassy Attache assassination in Paris[72] 1 0 1 0 0
1982 Israeli Ambassador assassination in London[72] 0 0 0 1 1
1982 Israeli Embassy Charge d'Affaires kidnapping attempt in Malta[72] 0 0 0 1 1
1982 Israeli Embassy attack in Quito[72] 0 2 2 1 3
1982 Israeli Embassy attack in Sydney[72] 0 0 0 2 2
1984 Israeli Embassy attack in Cairo[72] 0 0 0 1 1
1984 Israeli Embassy Interest Section Chief attack in Colombo[72] 0 0 0 0 0
1984 Israeli Embassy attack in Cyprus[72] 0 0 0 0 0
1985 Israeli Embassy employee attack in Cairo[72] 1 0 1 2 3
1986 Israeli Embassy employee attack in Cairo[72] 1 0 1 3 4
1988 Israeli Embassy attack in Manila[72] 0 0 0 0 0
1988 Israeli Embassy failed attack in Nicosia[72] 0 Several policeman Unknown Unknown Unknown
1992 Israeli Embassy employee assassination in Ankara[72] 1 0 1 0 0
1992 Israeli Embassy attack in Buenos Aires 4 25 29 242 271
1994 Israeli Embassy attack in Bangkok[72] 0 1 1 0 0
1994 Israeli Embassy Attack in London 0 0 0 20 20
1997 Israeli Embassy attack in Amman[72] 0 0 0 2 2
1998 Israeli Embassy failed attack in Brussels[72] 0 0 0 0 0
1999 Israeli Consulate attack in Berlin[72] 0 0 0 0 0
2004 Tashkent Israeli embassy bombing 1 4 5[73] 5+[74] 10+
2008 Nouakchott Israeli embassy bombing 0 0 0 3[75] 3
2012 attacks on Israeli diplomats 0 0 0 4[76] 4

Suicide Bombings[edit]

Aftermath of the Jaffa Road bus bombings. 26 people were killed in the Hamas suicide attack.

From 1993–2003, 303 Palestinian suicide bombers attacked Israel. More than 80% of all suicide bombings occurred after the year 2000. 55% of all suicide attacks were deemed "successful" – that is, resulted in killing themselves and injuring or killing others.[77] Suicide bombings constituted just 0.5% of Palestinian attacks against Israelis in the first two years of the Second Intifada, though this percentage accounted for half of the Israelis killed in that period.[78]

Year Realized suicide bombing attacks Killed Wounded
1994 4 38[79] 75
1995 4 35[79] 150
1996 5 67[79] 161
1997 5 24[79] 359
1998 2 3[79] 28
1999 2 0[79] 0
2000 4 6[41] 10
2001 35 85[41] 323
2002 60 220[41] 119[80]
2003 26 142[41] 105
2004 15 55[41] 172
2005 7 23[41] 63
2006 4 15[41] 31
2007 1 3[81] 0
2008 2 1[82] 22

Between 2000 and 2006, 521[41] suicide bombing plots were thwarted by the Israeli Defense Forces and 540 Israelis were killed by suicide bombings.[41]

Non-combat military casualties[edit]

171 Israeli soldiers have been killed in training exercises and non-combat roles since 1977.[83][84]

Wars ranked by total deaths[edit]

An IDF medical crew evacuating an injured soldier from the battle field during the Yom Kippur War. The Israel Defense Forces suffered 2,297 casualties and more than 7,200 soldiers were injured.
  1. 1948 Arab-Israeli War
  2. Yom Kippur War
  3. War of Attrition
  4. Six-Day War
  5. 1982 Lebanon War
  6. Suez Crisis
  7. 2006 Lebanon War

Gallery of memorials[edit]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  6. ^ Aurora (Spanish)
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