The Israeli Defense Forces revealed the extent of activity on all fronts in protection of the nation and its citizens in a year end report on 2020. IDF activities over the past year included the number of targets struck in Syria (about 50), fighter jet sorties flown (1,400) and calls answered by the Home Front Command’s coronavirus information call center (1.4 million).
The lowest number of soldiers and civilians were killed in 2020 in the country’s history. Only three people – 2 civilians and one soldier – lost their lives in security-related attacks.
According to documents sent to TV7 by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office, the following is a list of incidents/activities divided by region and military sector.
- 176 rockets were launched into Israeli territory, 90 of them into open terrain.
- 80 rockets were intercepted, accounting for approximately 93% of the total rockets fired at populated areas.
- 38 border crossing attempts.
- One terror tunnel dug by the Hamas terrorist organization from the Gaza Strip and crossed into Israeli territory was exposed.
- 12 km of the underground barrier (a total of 59.5 km) were built and about 45 km of the “hourglass” fence in the Gaza Strip were completed.
- Approximately 300 targets were struck in the Gaza Strip.
Despite the Coronavirus pandemic, the West Bank remained a significant source of concern for the IDF — on par with recent years — though there were some areas of improvement and some of regression.
There were 60 terror attacks in the West Bank last year, reflecting a rise over 51 in 2019 but less than 76 in 2018 and 75 in 2017.
In 2020, the number of shooting attacks increased significantly to 31 from 19 in 2019; although the trend was similar to the number of shootings in 2018 (33) and 2017 (34). Stabbings decreased by a third, from 12 in 2019 to nine this past year.
To counter these attacks amid the ongoing campaign against terror groups in the West Bank, the IDF conducted 2,277 arrests over the past year, a slight decrease from the previous years: 2,328 in 2019; 3,173 in 2018; and 3,627 in 2017.
An estimated 1,500 rocks and 229 firebombs were hurled by Palestinians in the West Bank at civilian communities or cars, 229
The IDF succeeded in shutting down 50 local gun workshops, compared to 14 in 2019 and four in 2018. 541 weapons and 330 knives were confiscated.
- During an operational deployment on the northern border, two Hezbollah attempts to carry out an attack on IDF soldiers were thwarted.
- Approximately 44 km of new routes have been breached on the Syrian-Lebanese border.
- 10 attempts to cross the security fence fence from Lebanon to Israel were thwarted by IDF troops.
- Approximately 50 targets were struck on the Syrian front.
- Two cargo routes were exposed and a terror cell was thwarted on the Syrian border.
- An attempted attack by a Hezbollah cell (“the Golan Heights file”) was disrupted.
- 210 operations were carried out in the enclaves.
- 20 unique operational activities were carried out.
- 80 tank shells were fired within Israeli borders.
- Ground forces covered 1,443 km during their “beret trek” marches.
- For the first time, 6 simulated brigade exercises were held.
Establishment of units as part of the “Momentum” multi-year plan:
- Exercise and Training Command: Focusing training and exercise while creating a uniform standard for training bases.
- Integrated Maneuvering System: A multi-force authority, preparing a combined maneuvering force for combat.
- “Flash Design” – Division 99: Promoting combat methods in the framework of maneuvering in all arenas.
- Assault Division: Making multi-branch attack capabilities accessible to operational forces.
- The Red Unit: Specializes in the accurate representation of a variety of enemy scenarios for IDF use.
Israeli Air Force
According to the military, over the course of 2020 Israeli Air Force helicopters flew over 400 sorties, a quarter of them search and rescue operations; and transport airplanes flew over 1,000 missions. There were more than 1,400 battle formation sorties, and IAF drones clocked about 35,000 flight hours.
- 10 international exercises were conducted in Israel and abroad.
- The farthest destination reached by the Air Force was India, as part of an operation to supply medical equipment to fight the coronavirus.
- The 116th “Southern Lions” Squadron and “Wing 7” were opened and the 117th “First Jet” Squadron was retired.
- Four Adir (F-35i) jets were added to the ranks of the Air Force.
- 97,336 Sailing hours in the current security system
- Hours sailed by missile ship fleet: 12,356
- The farthest destination the Navy reached was Germany
- The first “Saar 6” corvette, the INS Magen, arrived off the coast of Israel
Cyber Defense and Digital
- Cyber defense
○ The “Spectrum” Monitoring Center carried out hundreds of operational activities in order to
maintain the IDF’s spectral superiority.
○ The “Spectrum” Battalion struck down hundreds of enemy drones.
○ About 60 “Spectrum” soldiers were trained.
○ In addition, 18 “Spectrum” researchers were trained.
○ 100 cyber defenders were trained this year, and an additional 100 were trained in the various
professions of the Matzuv unit.
Cyber Defense and Digital
○ In the “Compass” unit’s chat system, approximately 2,600,000 messages were sent this year, and approximately 5,500 operational groups were opened.
○ 15 different training bases took part in the “Digital Campus” program of the Digital
Transformation Directorate and applied their training for digital.
- 258 control headquarters authorities and network link units were established and operated.
- As part of the “Dror La’aretz” program, increased assistance was provided to 17 cities throughout the country.
- The Home Front Command conducted about 6,050 inspections of public shelters.
- 17 emergency training sessions were conducted for various headquarters.
- The behavioral research branch conducted 19 studies this year.
Coronavirus and Civilian Sector Assistance
The military also detailed its contributions to the national fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The IDF played a central role in the government’s response to the pandemic, working with local municipalities to assist residents directly and indirectly affected by the disease. The Home Front Command also ran the national call center and a website that was meant to centralize information about the pandemic and the government’s response to it.
According to the IDF, over 3,000 reservists were called in to assist the Home Front Command in these efforts. During the crisis, the military distributed some 380,000 boxes of food and supplies to citizens throughout the country. In addition to the 1.4 million phone calls answered, the military’s website was visited 7.7 million times, the IDF said.
- Approximately 70,000 portions of blood were donated by IDF troops.
- Two vacation villages have been converted for the benefit of those recovering from coronavirus.
- As part of “Tribe of Brothers,” an underground coronavirus ward was established at Rambam Hospital.
- The “Ella” Epidemiology Unit was established within 18 days.
- During the closure periods following the spread of the coronavirus, approximately 400 washing machines and 400 dryers were issued to IDF units.
- Completed epidemiological investigations since the establishment of the Alon Headquarters: 236,218 (as of 26.12.2020).
- The Alon Headquarters employed some 3,000 researchers.
- Since the beginning of the coronavirus epidemic, approximately 380,000 food packages have been provided by the Home Front Command to the public.
- Home Front Command personnel have operated about 52 hospital staff units, which provide assistance and support to hospitals.
- Since the outbreak of the virus, the Home Front Command’s Citizen Information Center has handled over 1,400,000 calls.
- The Information and Knowledge Center of the Intelligence Directorate produced 423 reports (as of 29.12.2020).
- About 7,700,000 entries were submitted via the Home Front Command’s national emergency portal since its establishment.
- Approximately 6,730 lone soldiers served on average.
- 65,300 enlistees carried out their first order processes (as of October).
- IDF soldiers had roughly one million in-person doctor’s visits over the past year and over 400,000 online meetings with physicians.
- Vegetarian and vegan soldiers had a “banner year,” said the IDF, with 1,875 soldiers receiving non-leather shoes and 2,500 non-wool berets. An estimated 50 tons of tofu were consumed by troops in 2020.