The Israeli military’s mobilisation of reservists has been expanded to 360,000 in response to the escalation of conflict with Hamas, as the surprise assault by the Islamist militants caught the Israeli government off guard. On Saturday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered an extensive mobilisation of reserve forces, the backbone of Israel’s military.
In response to the mobilisation, Israeli airlines, including El Al, Israir, and Arkia, increased their flight operations to transport reservists back to Israel. This mobilisation highlights the significant role of reserve forces in Israel’s defence strategy.
In Israel, military service is mandatory for the majority of citizens, with men serving for two and a half years and women for two years, typically starting at the age of 18. After completing their mandatory service, individuals become part of the IDF Reserves, making them eligible for recall to active duty when the country faces national emergencies or conflicts.
Eligibility for joining the reserve army extends to most citizens who have completed their mandatory military service, regardless of their gender. While some individuals, like those with specific medical conditions or those serving in specialised roles, may have limitations on their reserve service, they remain a vital component of Israel’s defence system.
Reservists can be called up for active duty during times of conflict, war, or national emergencies. Periodic training exercises are conducted to ensure that reservists are well prepared and maintain their skills.
Age limits for reserve duty in Israel can vary, but typically, reservists may be called up until the age of 40 or even 50, depending on their roles and specific circumstances. The duration and frequency of reserve duty can also vary, with some reservists serving several weeks a year and others remaining on call for longer periods.
Specialised units, such as the intelligence corps and special forces, often consist of reservists who have different requirements and training. Reservists in Israel receive various benefits, including compensation for their service, healthcare, and other entitlements, making reserve duty an integral part of their commitment to national defense.