The IDF Minorities Unit
is an Arabic-speaking unit of the Israel Defense Forces
, also known as Unit 300. Non-Jewish minorities also serve in the Druze
Reconnaissance Unit and the Bedouin Trackers Unit.
The Minorities Unit was formed in the early summer of 1948 by incorporating a unit of Druze defectors from the Arab Liberation Army
and small numbers of Bedouin and Circassians
. The unit was attached to the Oded Brigade
and fought in Operation Hiram
in October 1948. It has fought in every war since. Today, most members of the unit are Druze, but there are also Bedouins, Circassians and Christian and Muslim Arabs. The unit has produced several generals.
The Minorities Unit has a small elite Sayeret
special forces branch.Druze
men are subject to mandatory conscription to the IDF. In the mid-1950s, the Druze leadership appealed to David Ben-Gurion
, then Minister of Defense, to draft Druze men on the same basis as Jews. The State Defense Act of 1949, which called for drafting all individuals in the country, allowed the minister to issue exemptions for certain groups. The Druze asked that their exemption be canceled. Originally, they served in the framework of a special unit. Since the 1980s, Druze soldiers have joined regular combat units, attaining high ranks and commendations for distinguished service. 83 percent of Druze boys serve in the army according to IDF... Read More