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Major General Herzl Levi, Chief of Military Intelligence
Old Aman logo
The Directorate of Military Intelligence (Hebrew: אגף המודיעין, Agaf HaModi'in – lit. "the Intelligence Section"; Arabic: شعبة الاستخبارات العسكرية), often abbreviated to Aman (Hebrew: אמ"ן; Arabic: آمان), is the central, overarching military intelligence body of the Israel Defense Forces. Aman was created in 1950, when the Intelligence Department was spun off from the IDF's General Staff (then, Agam: אג"ם); the Intelligence Department itself was composed largely of former members of the Haganah Intelligence Service (HIS). Aman is an independent service, and not part of the ground forces, navy or the Israeli Air Force.
In April 2000, the newest IDF corps was founded (the IDF's fifth land corps), the Field Intelligence Corps (חיל מודיעין השדה), abbreviated as Modash (מוד"ש). It was designed to fulfill some of Aman's former combat intelligence functions, and is also headed by a Brigadier General. Unlike aman, however, Modash falls under the operational jurisdiction of the GOC Army Headquarters, abbreviated as Mazi (מז"י), and currently headed by Major General Yiftach Ron-Tal (as of June 10, 2005, outgoing: to be replaced by Major General Benny Gantz, outgoing head of GOC Northern Command). It still falls under Aman's professional jurisdiction however.
In 1976, according to the Lexicon of National Security, some of Aman's principal roles consisted of:
Intelligence evaluation for security policy, military planning and "fluid security policy," and the dissemination of intelligence to IDF and governmental bodies.
Field security at the level of the General Staff (today, Matkal: מטכ"ל), and the training and operation of field security in general (all levels).
The operation of military censorship.
Direction and operation of the 'Collection Agencies'.
Drawing maps; providing the direction and supervision for the dissemination of maps.
The development of 'special measures' for intelligence work.
The development of intelligence doctrine in the realms of research, collection, and field security.
Staff responsibility for military attachés overseas.
The head of Aman is the senior intelligence officer in the IDF and engages in intelligence decision and policy-making at the same level as the heads of the Shabak and the Mossad: together, they form the three highest-ranking, co-equal heads of the Israeli Intelligence Community, focusing on the military, domestic (including the Palestinian territories), and foreign intelligence fronts respectively.