The Military Intelligence Directorate is one of the oldest Directorates in the IDF. It was established as soon as the state of Israel was founded. The head of the Military Intelligence Directorate is Major General Tamir Hayman.
The main mission of the Military Intelligence Directorate is to supply the government and IDF with intelligence warnings and alerts daily and during wartime to protect Israel from threats. In order to enable security forces to defend Israel against threats, the Intelligence Corps must utilize many resources and tightly track terrorist activities and developments in Arab countries as well as technological advancements worldwide.
Tracking the growth of terrorist organizations requires in-depth intelligence collection. Intelligence information comes from a variety of sources and is processed by Intelligence Corps soldiers to create an updated situation assessment.
The corps’ soldiers work day and night on improving their methods for better collection, processing and evaluation of intelligence information. Constantly developing new systems and tools for intelligence tracking is also crucial. The soldiers are responsible for transmitting the information and updating it in real time.
The directorate is made up of 3 main units- the 8200 Unit, the 9900 Unit and the 504 Unit. The biggest of which is the 8200 Unit, the Military Intelligence Directorate's main information gathering unit. Soldiers in the unit are in charge of developing and utilizing information gathering tools, analyzing, processing and sharing of the gathered info to relevant officials. The unit operates in all zones and in wartime, they join combat field headquarters in order to enable a faster flow of information.
Some roles in the Military Intelligence Directorate include:
- Listening. Soldiers who do this job have to be able to combine a very high level of Arabic with selection and synthesis abilities.
- Translation of information. The translators must not only translate a text from one language to another, but must also master tools in order to be selective in translations based on information from reports.
- Decryption of aerial images. This involves interpreting aerial information and turning it into maps.
- Electronics technician. This includes the establishment of verification systems, manufacture of electronic cards, construction of secure computer terminals, and more.
The corps also has an elite unit, Sayeret Matkal. It is considered the best combat unit in the Israeli army and one of the best special forces units in the world. It is a unit where professionalism is built into a way of life. The unit is not part of any regional command; it only responds to orders from the Chief of General Staff.
The unit's fighters are selected with the utmost care, through rigorous testing and challenging physical examinations. The combatants are specialized in commando and scouting operations (navigation, orientation, using a wide range of vehicles, etc.). State-of-the-art technological equipment is at their disposal for them to keep up with innovations.
The 8200 Unit is the Military Intelligence Directorate's main information gathering unit. Soldiers in the unit are in charge of developing and utilizing information gathering tools, analyzing, processing and sharing of the gathered info to relevant officials. The unit operates in all zones and in wartime, they join combat field headquarters in order to enable a faster flow of information.