Today's Israel Fact of the Day- On May 31, 1948, the Israel Defense Forces officially began operations as Israel’s sole, unified military organization charged with protecting the territory and citizens of the two-week-old state. The birth of the IDF came at a time when the entire country was at war for its very survival. Drawing its forces and weapons from the various Jewish paramilitary organizations active at the time, the IDF began as a hastily cobbled together, understaffed, underarmed, and ill-equipped army. By the end of the War of Independence in 1949, the IDF had defeated five invading Arab armies to become the decisive, powerful, spirited fighting force that it is known as today. Hit +1 and SHARE to teach your friends about Israel.