Israel Police

The Israel Police (Hebrew: משטרת ישראל‎, romanizedMišteret Yisra'el; Arabic: شرطة إسرائيل‎, romanizedShurtat 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]

Israel Police
משטרת ישראל
شرطة إسرائيل
Israel Police logo
Israel Police logo
Israel Police flag
Israel Police flag
Agency overview
Annual budget8.383 billion NIS (2010)[3]
Jurisdictional structure
National agencyIsrael
Operations jurisdictionIsrael
Governing bodyIsraeli Ministry of Public Security
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed byPolice Internal Investigations Department[4]
HeadquartersNational Headquarters of the Israel PoliceKiryat HaMemshala (East Jerusalem)
Agency executive
National Police Headquarters, Jerusalem

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]

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]

Israel Police bomb disposal operators

Regional districts

The Israel Police is divided into six regional district commands:

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 Yasam has sub-units of Rapid Response Motorcycle Units.[18]
  • The National Traffic Police is the police's traffic enforcement arm. It is divided into five regional districts and a national patrol unit.
  • The Civil Guard is the police's force of part-time volunteer officers, who comprise the majority of Israeli police officers. Civil Guard volunteers have limited police powers.
  • Lahav 433 is the police's unit for investigations of national crimes and corruption.

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  
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  

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

Flag of Chief of Israel Police
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 (interim) 2015 2015
Roni Alsheikh 2015 2018
Moti Cohen (interim) 2018


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. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  2. ^ "The Israel Police and the Community". Israel Police. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  3. ^ "Police Budget" (in Hebrew). Israel Police. Archived from the original on March 6, 2011. 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. ^ "Ministry of Public Security". Archived from the original on May 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement". Archived from the original on May 10, 2010.
  7. ^ Jack Khoury (July 11, 2010). "Druze protesters clash with police searching restaurant in Golan village". Haaretz. Archived from the original on July 14, 2010.
  8. ^ "Suspicious Arguments Against saying Hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut". Bloging:: Ha Gufa Kashya. Archived from the original on March 26, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  9. ^ "Jerusalem Issue Briefs". Archived from the original on June 9, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2013.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Emergency telephone number#Emergency numbers See Israel in the list
  11. ^ Andrade, John (January 9, 2016). World Police & Paramilitary Forces. Springer. ISBN 9781349077823. Archived from the original on May 11, 2018 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Official definition of Mission and Functions Archived June 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at the official Israeli police website
  13. ^ "The Israeli Civil Guard volunteer police force". Archived from the original on June 16, 2011.
  14. ^ all following information according to the official Israel police website cited above
  15. ^ "Mishmar Hagvul" (Hebrew) Archived August 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine at Israel Police website
  16. ^ Police Delegation Head for Haiti at U.N. Request Archived September 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Alon, Gideon (March 1, 2006). "Preventative Medicine". Archived from the original on November 4, 2012 – via Haaretz.
  18. ^ Kosharek, Noah (December 24, 2009). "Inspectors, Police, Civilians All Chase 'Jewish Pony' in Holon". Archived from the original on December 2, 2010 – via Haaretz.
  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.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ "Everyone wins at Urban Shield 2010". Archived from the original on November 3, 2011.
  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 Archived January 27, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Haaretz, 27 Jan 2015
  27. ^ ‘Latest police sexual assault scandal just tip of the iceberg’ Archived February 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine The Jerusalem Post, 6 Feb 2015
  28. ^ On gender equality, Israel police get criminally low marks Archived February 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Haaretz, 6 Feb 2015

External links