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Israel Police

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Title: Israel Police  
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Subject: Israel Border Police, Military Police Corps (Israel), Herzl Shafir, Israeli Intelligence Community, Israeli settler violence
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Israel Police

Israel Police
משטרת ישראל
Israel Police logo
Israel Police flag
Agency overview
Employees 35,000[1]
Volunteers 70,000[2]
Annual budget 8.383 billion NIS (2010)[3]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Israel
Governing body Israeli Ministry of Public Security
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by Police Internal Investigations Department[4]
Headquarters National Headquarters of the Israel PoliceKiryat HaMemshala (East Jerusalem)
Agency executive Gal Hirsch, Police Commissioner

The Israel Police (Hebrew: משטרת ישראל‎, Mishteret Yisra'el) is the civilian police force of Israel. As with most other police forces in the world, its duties include crime fighting, traffic control, maintaining public safety, and counter-terrorism. It is under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Public Security.[5]

The Israel Police operates throughout Israel, the Golan Heights and Area C of the West Bank, in all places in which Israel has civilian control.[6][7] There are no local or "municipal" police departments in Israel.

The National Headquarters of the Israel Police are located at the Government offices named after Begin in Jerusalem.[8]

In an emergency, the police can be reached by dialing 100 from any telephone in Israel.[9]


  • Roles 1
  • Organization 2
    • Headquarters units 2.1
    • Departments 2.2
    • Regional districts 2.3
    • Operational units 2.4
  • Weapons and equipment 3
    • Issued weaponry 3.1
      • Standard-issue rifles (non-combat ) 3.1.1
      • Standard-issue assault rifle (combat) 3.1.2
      • Sniper rifles 3.1.3
      • Handguns 3.1.4
      • Non-lethal weapons 3.1.5
  • Ranks 4
  • Honors and awards 5
  • List of General Commissioners 6
  • Controversies 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Israeli police officers and a patrol car
National Police Headquarters, Jerusalem

The Israel police is responsible for public security, maintaining public order, securing public events and rallies, dismantling suspicious objects and explosives (EOD), riot and crowd control, law enforcement, crime fighting, detective work, covert operations against drug networks, investigating suspects, road traffic control, operating the Civil Guard, handling civilian complaints, handling youth violence, educational campaigns.[10]


Diagram – organizational structure

The Israel Police are a professional force, with some 35,000 persons on the payroll. There are also 70,000 Civil Guard volunteers who contribute time to assist officers in their own communities.[11]

The police are divided into the following main divisional groups:[12]

Headquarters units

  • International Relations
  • Legal Counsel
  • Immigration Control
  • Audit & Accounts
  • Economic Crimes
  • Public Complaints
  • Disciplinary Court
  • Service Administration
  • Safety
  • Appeals
  • Controller
  • Spokesperson


Israeli Riot police, Yasam
Latest Patrol Cars, Škoda Octavia II 2009
  • Human Resources
  • Investigation & Intelligence
  • Logistic Support
  • Organization & Planning
  • Traffic – includes the National Traffic Police
  • Patrol & Security
  • Community & Civil Guard

Regional districts

Operational units

  • The Border Police ("MAGAV") is the combat arm of the police and mainly serves in unquiet areas – the borders, the West Bank, and the rural countryside. The Border Police has both professional officers on payroll and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conscripts who serve in the Border Police as their mandatory three-year service in the IDF.[13]
  • The Yamam (acronym for Special Police Unit) is the police elite counter terror hostage rescue unit. It is known as one of the most experienced and specialized in the world. The unit has taken part in hundreds of operations in and outside the borders of Israel.[14]
  • The Yasam is the on-call counter-terror unit in each district. The units, originally started as Riot Police, were called upon to assist with counter-terror operations, as well as dismantling settlements in accordance with the Israeli court decisions. It has gained a reputation of being the most elite force on call and ready at any time, although charged by both Israeli settlers and Palestinians of using excess brutality.[15] The Yassam has sub-units of Rapid Response Motorcycle Units.[16]

Weapons and equipment

Israeli police boat on the Sea of Galilee
An Israeli Police Bell 206 helicopter

Each policeman is armed with a pistol (handgun) which he or she usually also carries while off-duty. Also, each patrol car must have at least one long-arm (i.e. rifle). Police volunteers are usually armed with an M1 Carbine, which they return to the police's armory after they finish their duty (they do not take the rifle home, but may sign one out for escorting field trips, etc.). Volunteers who have a gun license may use their own personal handgun as personal defense weapon for their police duty, under the condition that the gun and ammunition type is authorized by the police (9 mm). Common pistols owned and carried by volunteers include Glock and CZ-75 designs.[17]

Heavy armaments such as assault rifles, sniper rifles and non-lethal weapons are assigned according to activity and not on personal basis.

Border Guard policemen, however, carry an M16 or M4 assault rifle as a standard personal weapon and can carry it home while off-duty (like regular infantry in the Israel Defense Forces).[18]

Issued weaponry

Remington 700PSS sniper rifle
Jericho 941 F handgun

Standard-issue rifles (non-combat )

Standard-issue assault rifle (combat)

Sniper rifles


Non-lethal weapons


British equivalent (Hebrew) Rank Insignia
Constable שוטר Shoter
Corporal רב שוטר Rav Shoter
Sergeant סמל שני Samal Sheni
Staff Sergeant סמל ראשון Samal Rishon
Sergeant First Class רב סמל Rav Samal
Master Sergeant רב סמל ראשון Rav Samal Rishon
First Sergeant רב סמל מתקדם Rav Samal Mitkadem
Sergeant Major רב סמל בכיר Rav Samal Bakhir
Sergeant Major of Command רב נגד Rav Nagad
Sub-Inspector מפקח משנה Mefake'ah Mishneh
Inspector מפקח Mefake'ah
Chief Inspector פקד Pakad
Superintendent רב פקד Rav Pakad
Chief Superintendent סגן ניצב Sgan Nitzav
Commander ניצב משנה Nitzav Mishneh
Assistant Commissioner תת ניצב Tat Nitzav
Deputy Commissioner ניצב Nitzav
Commissioner רב ניצב Rav Nitzav
Source: Israel Police website (Hebrew version)

Honors and awards

  • July 6, 2004: Received an award from the Anti-Defamation League for its counter terror efforts and for passing seminars of counter-terror measures to FBI and local USA police. [3],[4]
  • In October 2010 the elite unit YAMAM of the Israeli Police won the "Urban Shield" SWAT competition held by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office setting a new record in the competition.[19]
  • In October 2011 the elite unit YAMAM of the Israeli Police won the "Urban Shield" SWAT competition held by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office again.[20]

List of General Commissioners

Police Commissioners
General Commissioner Start year End year
Yehezkel Sahar 1948 1958
Yosef Nachmias 1958 1964
Pinhas Kopel 1964 1972
Aaron Sela 1972
Shaul Rosolio 1972 1976
Haim Tavori 1976 1979
Herzl Shapir 1980
Arieh Ivtsan 1981 1985
David Kraus 1985 1990
Yaakov Turner 1990 1993
Rafi Peled 1993 1994
Asaf Hefetz 1994 1997
Yehuda Vilk 1998 2000
Shlomo Aharonishki 2001 2004
Moshe Karadi 2004 2007
Dudi Cohen 2007 2011
Yohanan Danino 2011 2015
Bentsi Sao 2015
Gal Hirsch 2015
Roni Alshich 2015


A 2014 analysis by Yesh Din questioned the professionalism of the police force of the Judea & Samaria District (also known as the West Bank) as only 7.4% of reported attacks by Israeli citizens on Palestinian persons and property had led to indictments.[21] As of January 27, 2015, the police force is considered to be in crisis mode, given that several senior officers have resigned in recent months due to criminal investigations or accusations of sexual harassment of employees. Five police at the rank of major general have resigned in the preceding 18 months amid scandal.[22] The February 2015 announcement that another senior Israel Police officer was under investigation for sexual harassment met with "severe backlash" by women’s and rape victim advocacy groups, who held protests at police headquarters in a number of municipalities throughout Israel.[23]

Haaretz also notes the lack of gender equality in the Israel Police, given that 30% of police are women, but not one of those at the rank of major general is a woman.[24]

See also


  1. ^ "Israel Police". Israel Police. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  2. ^ "The Israel Police and the Community". Israel Police. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Police Budget" (in Hebrew). Israel Police. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ "המחלקה לחקירות שוטרים (מח"ש) – Police Investigations Department" (in Hebrew). Ministry of Justice (Israel). Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ Organizational Structure of Ministry of Public Security
  6. ^ Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement
  7. ^ Jack Khoury (11.07.10). "Druze protesters clash with police searching restaurant in Golan village". Haaretz. Retrieved January 7, 2010.  Article discussing Jerusalem police and the civilian attitude to them. The image in the article shows a policeman protecting an old man at the Wailing wall in Jerusalem, a holy Jewish site recaptured by Israel in the Six Day War
  8. ^ Jerusalem Issue Briefs at the Wayback Machine (archived June 9, 2010)
  9. ^ Emergency telephone number#Emergency numbers See Israel in the list
  10. ^ Official definition of Mission and Functions at the official Israeli police website
  11. ^ The Israeli Civil Guard volunteer police force
  12. ^ all following information according to the official Israel police website cited above
  13. ^ "Mishmar Hagvul" (Hebrew) at Israel Police website
  14. ^ Police Delegation Head for Haiti at U.N. Request
  15. ^ MK Arie Eldad talks of Yassam brutality at Amona settlement or Anarchists at Sheikh Jarach complain of Yassam brutality
  16. ^ Yassam moped mounted policemen chase a pony
  17. ^ Weapons and equipment at official Israel police website. All following lists of weaponry are from this source as well.
  18. ^ According to Hebrew WorldHeritage entries on M16 and the Galil rifles, which preceded the M16 and was used for 20 years as the main task gun.
  19. ^ Everyone wins at Urban Shield 2010
  20. ^ Israeli Police press release, 2.11.2011 (Hebrew)
  21. ^ "Semblance of Law". Yesh Din. September 12, 2006. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  22. ^ Police in crisis as sixth top cop quits in disgrace Haaretz, 27 Jan 2015
  23. ^ ‘Latest police sexual assault scandal just tip of the iceberg’ The Jerusalem Post, 6 Feb 2015
  24. ^ On gender equality, Israel police get criminally low marks Haaretz, 6 Feb 2015

External links

  • English website
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