Military Intelligence Directorate (Israel)
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|Military Intelligence Directorate
Directorate of Military Intelligence אגף המודיעין
شعبة الاستخبارات العسكرية
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Governing body||IDF General Staff|
|Agency executive||Major General Herzl Levi, Chief of Military Intelligence|
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.
It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Mossad (national intelligence) and Shin Bet (general security). It is currently headed by Major General Herzi Halevi. It has a staff of 7,000 personnel (1996 estimate). Its special forces and field-reconnaissance unit is Sayeret Matkal, and its elite training course is Havatzalot Program.
Roles and jurisdiction
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.
Aman consists of the following subordinate and professionally subordinate units:
- Information Security Department
- Military Censor [Part of Aman, but an entirely independent unit, not subordinate to any military or political level, only to parliamentary and judicial oversight]
Professionally subordinate units
- Air Intelligence Directorate: the intelligence unit of the Israeli Air Force
- Naval Intelligence Department: the intelligence unit of the Israeli Sea Corps
- The intelligence units of the Regional Commands: Central, Northern, Southern and Home Front Commands
- Center for Consciousness Operations: a psychological warfare unit of the Operations Directorate
List of directors
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.
On June 10, 2005, then-IDF's Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Dan Halutz, in a move viewed as surprising, announced that Major General Aharon Zeevi-Farkash would be replaced by Major General Amos Yadlin. Yadlin, who had been serving as the IDF's military attaché in Washington, D.C., was a combat pilot, former head of the air force's Air Intelligence Directorate, and Halutz's deputy. Yadlin was appointed as Aman Director on January 5, 2006, with Zeevi-Farkash having served an extended term. In November 2010 Yadlin was replaced by Major General Aviv Kochavi.
- 1948–1949: Isser Be'eri
- 1949–1950: Colonel Chaim Herzog
- 1950–1955: Colonel Binyamin Gibli
- 1955–1959: Major General Yehoshafat Harkabi
- 1959–1962: Major General Chaim Herzog
- 1962–1963: Major General Meir Amit
- 1964–1972: Major General Aharon Yariv
- 1972–1974: Major General Eli Zeira
- 1974–1978: Major General Shlomo Gazit
- 1979–1983: Major General Yehoshua Saguy
- 1983–1985: Major General Ehud Barak
- 1986–1991: Major General Amnon Lipkin-Shahak
- 1991–1995: Major General Uri Sagi
- 1995–1998: Major General Moshe Ya'alon
- 1998–2001: Major General Amos Malka[he]
- 2001–2006: Major General Aharon Zeevi-Farkash
- 2006–2010: Major General Amos Yadlin
- 2010–2014: Major General Aviv Kokhavi
- 2014–present: Major General Herzi Halevi
- GlobalSecurity.org on Aman (1996)
- "Israeli Intelligence in the 1967 War," By Doron Geller, JUICE, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Education Dept.
- "Israeli Intelligence and the Yom Kippur War of 1973," By Doron Geller, JUICE, The Jewish Agency for Israel, Education Dept.
- The "Yom Kippur War: the IDF version," by Amir Oren, for Haaretz
- "Intelligence service under scrutiny," by Dan Baron, for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency