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Military Intelligence Directorate (Israel)

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Military Intelligence Directorate
Israeli Military Intelligence
אגף המודיעין
Logo of the Israeli Military Intelligence
Logo of the Israeli Military Intelligence
Flag of the Israeli Defense Forces Military Intelligence
Common nameAman
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyIsrael
Operations jurisdictionIsrael
Governing bodyIDF General Staff

The Israeli Military Intelligence (Hebrew: אגף המודיעין; Agaf HaModi'in; lit. "the Intelligence Section"), often abbreviated to Aman (Hebrew: אמ״ן), 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. The Intelligence Department was composed largely of former members of the Haganah Intelligence Service. Aman is an independent service, and not part of the ground forces, Navy or the Air Force.

It is one of the main entities and the largest component of the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Mossad and Shin Bet. It is currently headed by Major General Aharon Haliva. It includes the cyber warfare branch Unit 8200, the human intelligence Unit 504, the secret technology Unit 81, and the training course Havatzalot Program. Its special operations unit is General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal).

Roles and jurisdiction[edit]

Intelligence Corps badge.
Old logo of Aman

The IDF's Intelligence Corps (חיל המודיעין), abbreviated as Haman (חמ״ן) and headed by a brigadier general, has been detached from Aman since the Yom Kippur War, but remains under its jurisdiction.

In April 2000, the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps (חיל מודיעין השדה) was founded. Abbreviated as Modash (מוד״ש), it is the newest IDF corps, and the IDF's fifth land corps. It was designed to fulfill some of Aman's former combat intelligence functions, and is headed by a Brigadier General. Although it falls under the operational jurisdiction of the GOC Army Headquarters, it also falls under Aman's professional jurisdiction.

In 1976, according to the Lexicon of National Security, some of Aman's principal roles consisted of:

  1. Intelligence evaluation for security policy, military planning and "fluid security policy", and the dissemination of intelligence to IDF and governmental bodies.
  2. 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).
  3. The operation of military censorship.
  4. Direction and operation of the 'Collection Agencies'.
  5. Drawing maps; providing the direction and supervision for the dissemination of maps.
  6. The development of 'special measures' for intelligence work.
  7. The development of intelligence doctrine in the realms of research, collection, and field security.
  8. Staff responsibility for military attachés overseas.


During the founding of the state of Israel, the Haganah military organization was primarily responsible for gathering intelligence, or one of its elite units, the Scherut Jediot (secret service), or Shai.

Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion commissioned the Shai in the late 1940s to create a secret service structure for Israel. Shai member Re’uwen Schiloach established it based on four independent services: Aman and Schin Bet, the foreign intelligence service Machleket Hacheker, and the Institute for Illegal Immigration Mossad le-Alija Bet (defunct in March 1952).

In mid-1949 Shiloah created the Committee of Secret Service chiefs as a super-ordinate body. From 1963 the international secret service was officially called "Institute for Intelligence Service and Special Tasks" (ha-Mosad le-Modi'in u-le-Tafkidim Mejuhadim), short Mossad.

An offshoot of the Department of Defense was the lesser-known Lakam technology intelligence agency. The existence of which was long considered a state secret. It was used to obtain scientific and technological information. In the 1980s, the Lakam lost much of its previous importance.

One of the biggest defeats of the Israeli secret services was caused by the Aman in the 1950s. Defense Minister Pinhas Lavon had to resign as part of the so-called Lavon affair. Aman-led "Operation Susannah" was intended to attack western facilities in Egypt by Israeli agents and saboteurs. The aim was to disrupt the good ties between the United States and the Egyptian head of state, Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The US should believe that the Egyptian state is powerless against religious organizations. Egypt managed to uncover the agent circle. Ten members were sentenced in a show trial in January 1955, two of them to death. Lavon resigned a month later, then Binyamin Gibli, then Aman's director, two weeks later. Ultimately, the Head of State Ben-Gurion resigned in 1963 after being worn down by ongoing discussions.


Aman consists of the following subordinate and professionally subordinate units:

Staff units[edit]

Collection units[edit]


Information security[edit]

Special Operations Division[edit]

Other units[edit]

Professionally subordinate units[edit]

List of directors[edit]

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.

In June 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 in January 2006, with Zeevi-Farkash having served an extended term. In November 2010, Yadlin was replaced by Major General Aviv Kochavi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Goldenberg, Tia (22 April 2024). "Israel's military intelligence chief resigns over failure to prevent Hamas attack on Oct. 7". AP News. Retrieved 19 May 2024.

External links[edit]