Military Wiki

The Depth Corps (Hebrew: מפקדת העומק‎, lit. Depth Headquarters) of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is a unit formed in 2011 to coordinate the IDF's long range operations and operations deep in enemy territory.

The unit operated in the 1980s but was scaled down and then planned again in the 2000s. The decision for its formation in the current form was taken by Chief of Staff Benny Gantz in 2011. The current commander is Major General Shay Avital, who answers directly to the chief of staff.

The deputy head is Gal Hirsch, who played a notable role in the Second Lebanon War.[1]


The unit originally operated in 1982–1986. It was subordinated to the Southern Command and headed by Major General Doron Rubin. It was scaled down and commanded by a Brigadier General until 2011. The last commander of the unit in this form was Gil Tamir.[2]

Background for reformation

The Depth Corps was recreated as a major unit out of a feeling that Israel's special forces were underutilized in the nation's conflicts, and out of a lack of a body coordinating their operations behind enemy lines.[3] This was made possible by preparations made by the major generals Aviv Kokhavi, Ido Nehoshtan and Gadi Eizenkot.[2] According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, it was also a means for Defense Minister Ehud Barak to realize his vision of having more special forces veterans in IDF's General Staff.[3]

Previously, many of IDF's special operations were commanded by the naval or air force chiefs by virtue of the soldiers being transported by sea or air, respectively, regardless of the essence of these operations.[3]

One of the primary missions for the new corps will be the interdiction of supplies to Arab militants. This may include new naval units and possibly a squadron of Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey aircraft.[4]


  1. Cohen, Gili. "IDF takes back Israeli general who left in shame after war with Hezbollah." Haaretz Newspaper. 10 February 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zeitoun, Yoav (December 15, 2011). "In Light of the Iranian Threat: Depth Headquarters Returns to Life". Ynet.,7340,L-4162407,00.html. Retrieved 2011-12-19.  (Hebrew)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Oren, Amir (December 16, 2011). "What is Behind the Founding of the Depth Headquarters in the IDF?". Haaretz. Retrieved 2011-12-19.  (Hebrew)
  4. Opall-Rome, Barbara. "Israel’s Growing Commando Force Eyes V-22s." DefenseNews, 28 April 2012.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).