Seeking greater integration, IDF to disband Druze-only unit after 41 years

The IDF logo. Credit: IDF.

( Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot on Monday decided to disband the IDF’s Druze-only unit, the Sword Battalion, 41 years after its inception.

The IDF said the decision followed lengthy deliberations, extensive preparatory work, and consultations with heads of the Druze community. Recent data indicates that the majority of Druze military recruits explicitly ask to serve in other combat units, with only 5 percent of Druze recruits expressing a preference for the Sword Battalion.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the decision “reflects the fact that the IDF facilitates the integration of every soldier, regardless of their origin.”

“The integration of Druze soldiers in the ranks of the IDF is a stellar example of that,” said Ya’alon, Israel Hayom reported.

Posted on May 19, 2015 .