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As a result of the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Provisional Government of Israel also declared the establishment of the Defence Army of Israel, consisting of land forces, a navy and an air force. Prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, a number of armed Jewish defense groups operated in British Palestine, next to the Haganah and Palmach. It was natural, after declaring the independence of the State of Israel, to form a single army force who would be loyal and responsible to the elected government of the State of Israel. The creation of an unified IDF lasted almost 6 and a half months, from 28th of May, 1948 till 7 November, 1948.

On 28 May, 1948, the Provisional Government of the State of Israel issued Defence Army of Israel Ordinance No. 4. The ordinance was published in the Official Gazette No.3 of 31 May, 1948.

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Defence Army of Israel Ordinance

No. 4 or 5708 – 1948e

An ordinance establishing a Defence Army of the State of Israel

By VIRTUE of section 18 of the Law and Administration Ordinance, 5708 – 1948, the following ordinance is hereby enacted: –

1. There is hereby established a Defence Army of Israel, consisting of land forces, a navy and an air force.

2. In a state of emergency, there shall be introduced compulsory enlistment for all the services of the Defence Army of Israel.

* published in the Official Gazette, No.3 of the 22nd Iyar, 5708 (31st may, 1948)

The age of those liable to enlistment shall be as shall be prescribed by the Provisional Government.

3. Every person serving in the Defence Army of Israel shall take an oath of allegiance to the State of israel, its Constitution and its competent authorities.

4. It is forbidden to establish or maintain any armed force outside the Defence Army of Israel.

5. Orders, declarations, regulations and any other directions concerning matters of the national service which were published by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the General Council (Va’ad Le’umi) of the Jewish Community in Palestine, the People’s Administration, the Provisional Government or any of their departments between the 16th Kislev, 5708 (29th November, 1947): and the date of publication of this Ordinance, shall remain in force so long as they have not been varied, amended or revoked.

6. Any act done in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance shall be legal, even if it is repugnant to any other provision in the existing law.

7. The Minister of Defence is charged with the implementation of this Ordinance.

8. This Ordinance may be cited as the Defence Army of Israel Ordinance, 5708 – 1948.

17th Iyar, 5708 (26th may, 1948)

The Provisional Government

David Ben Gurion

Prime Minister

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Mazzeltov,

Crethi Plethi

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