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Israel Police

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Israel Police
משטרת ישראל
شرطة إسرائيل
Emblem of Israel Police.svg
Israel Police logo
Flag of Israel Police.svg
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 Roni Alsheikh, Police Commissioner
National Police Headquarters, Jerusalem

The Israel Police (Hebrew: משטרת ישראל‎, translit. Mišteret Yisra'el; Arabic: شرطة إسرائيل‎, translit. Shurtat Isrāʼīl) 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, and the Area C of the West Bank, in all places in which Israel has civilian control.[6][7][8] There are no local or "municipal" police departments in Israel.

The National Headquarters of the Israel Police are located at Kiryat HaMemshala in Jerusalem.[9]

In an emergency, the police can be reached by dialing 100 from any telephone in Israel.[10]


Honor guard of the Israeli Police and Border Guard for Israel's Memorial Day

The Israel Police was established in 1948.[11] It 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.[12]

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.[13]

The police are divided into the following main divisional groups:[14]

Israeli riot police, Yasam
Israel Police bomb disposal operators

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.[15]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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.[17] The Yassam has sub-units of Rapid Response Motorcycle Units.[18]

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.[19]

Specialized armaments such as automatic rifles, bolt action rifles and non-lethal weapons are assigned according to activity and not on personal basis. Border Guard policemen, however, carry an M16 or M4 rifle as a standard personal weapon and can carry it home while off-duty (like regular infantry in the Israel Defense Forces).[20]


English language equivalent (Hebrew) Rank Insignia
Constable שוטר Shoter Shoter.svg
Corporal רב שוטר Rav Shoter RavShoter.svg
Sergeant סמל שני Samal Sheni SamalSheni.svg
Staff Sergeant סמל ראשון Samal Rishon SamalRishon.svg
Sergeant First Class רב סמל Rav Samal RavSamal.svg
Master Sergeant רב סמל ראשון Rav Samal Rishon RavSamalRishon.svg
First Sergeant רב סמל מתקדם Rav Samal Mitkadem RavSamalMitkadem.svg
Sergeant Major רב סמל בכיר Rav Samal Bakhir RavSamalBahir.svg
Sergeant Major of Command רב נגד Rav Nagad RavNagad.svg
Sub-Inspector מפקח משנה Mefake'ah Mishneh Mefakeah Mishne.svg
Inspector מפקח Mefake'ah Mefakeah.svg
Chief Inspector פקד Pakad Pakad.svg
Superintendent רב פקד Rav Pakad Rav pakad.svg
Chief Superintendent סגן ניצב Sgan Nitzav Sgan Nizav.svg
Commander ניצב משנה Nitzav Mishneh Nizav Mishne.svg
Assistant Commissioner תת ניצב Tat Nitzav Tat nizav.svg
Deputy Commissioner ניצב Nitzav Nizav.svg
Commissioner רב ניצב Rav Nitzav Rav Nizav.svg

Awards and recognition

  • 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.,[21][22]
  • 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.[23]
  • 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.[24]

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
Roni Alsheikh 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.[25] In 2015, several senior officers resigned due to criminal investigations or accusations of sexual harassment of employees. Five police at the rank of major general resigned in the preceding 18 months amid scandal.[26] The February 2015 announcement that another senior Israel Police officer was under investigation for sexual harassment was criticized by women’s and rape victim advocacy groups, who held protests at police headquarters in a number of cities.[27]

In 2015, Haaretz reported that 30% of police are women, but there are no women who have reached the rank of major general.[28]

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). Archived from the original on June 28, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011. 
  5. ^ Organizational Structure of Ministry of Public Security
  6. ^ Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement
  7. ^ Jack Khoury (July 11, 2010). "Druze protesters clash with police searching restaurant in Golan village". Haaretz. 
  8. ^ 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 captured by Israel in the Six-Day War
  9. ^ "Jerusalem Issue Briefs". Archived from the original on June 9, 2010. Retrieved 2013-09-04. 
  10. ^ Emergency telephone number#Emergency numbers See Israel in the list
  11. ^ World Police & Paramilitary Forces, John Andrade
  12. ^ Official definition of Mission and Functions at the official Israeli police website
  13. ^ The Israeli Civil Guard volunteer police force
  14. ^ all following information according to the official Israel police website cited above
  15. ^ "Mishmar Hagvul" (Hebrew) at Israel Police website
  16. ^ Police Delegation Head for Haiti at U.N. Request Archived September 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ MK Arie Eldad talks of Yassam brutality at Amona settlement or Anarchists at Sheikh Jarach complain of Yassam brutality
  18. ^ Yassam moped mounted policemen chase a pony
  19. ^ Weapons and equipment at official Israel police website. All following lists of weaponry are from this source as well.
  20. ^ According to Hebrew Wikipedia entries on M16 and the Galil rifles, which preceded the M16 and was used for 20 years as the main task gun.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 6, 2004. Retrieved July 6, 2004. 
  22. ^ http://fr.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull&cid=1089090725477&p=1078027574097[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Everyone wins at Urban Shield 2010
  24. ^ Israeli Police press release Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., 2.11.2011 (Hebrew)
  25. ^ "Semblance of Law". Yesh Din. September 12, 2006. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  26. ^ Police in crisis as sixth top cop quits in disgrace Haaretz, 27 Jan 2015
  27. ^ ‘Latest police sexual assault scandal just tip of the iceberg’ The Jerusalem Post, 6 Feb 2015
  28. ^ On gender equality, Israel police get criminally low marks Haaretz, 6 Feb 2015

External links

  • English website
  • Diagram – organizational structure
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