IDF034 Israeli Rifleman
This Israeli soldier is carrying the Belgian-designed FN Self Loading Rifle which continued to be in front-line use during the 1973 war and was not fully replaced until the mid 1980’s.
His more casual appearance suggests he might also be a ‘reservist’ just recently called-up.
Because of its precarious geographical and political position in a generally hostile neighborhood, Israel and its Defence Forces always have to be ready for conflict at a moment’s notice.
This is reflected in the size and composition of the Israeli Defence Forces. Although a relatively small country Israel has a total of 176,500 men and women on active service. The army contains most of them, about 133,000 of which just 26,000 are professional ‘regulars’ and the other 107,000 are conscripts.
These however are backed up by over 500,000 reservists who can be ‘called-up’ within hours of an emergency.