• Issue: October 1977
  • Designer: G. Sagi
  • Stamp size: 25.7 x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 511
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: E. Lewin-Epstein Ltd.
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

It is June 1948- the time of the first cease-fire in the fighting of the War of Independence - the Negev is still besieged and the Western Galilee is still in enemy hands. Everyone realised that a cease-fire was not the end of the fight, that the final outcome was yet to be decided, that the armed forces had to be put in a state of immediate preparedness. It was in these circumstances that the Provisional Government decided to take the unprecedented step of mobilising all 17-year olds and putting them through a concentrated course of military training to turn them into a trained reserve that could be thrown into the battle should the situation become critical.

The responsibility for mobilising and training the 17-year olds was given to the Gadna Command, as youths in their thousands complied with the mobilisation orders.

Among the mobilised youth were to be found several hundred representatives of pioneer youth - members of the Israeli Youth movements - who were anxious to preserve the cohesion of their settlement groups while fulfilling their military obligations.

It was against this background that the question arose as to whether it was possible to find a suitable arrangement that would meet both the country's military and security needs and its need for more settlements. Representatives of the various pioneering movements approached the then Defence Minister - David Ben Gurion - with a proposal to form special military units in which their members - potential settlers -could serve together.

In the light of the need for further settlement, the absorption of new immigrants arid the country's security requirements, the Defence Minister decided to set up the NAHAL.

On the 8th September 1949 the Knesset passed the Military Service Law which emphasized the importance of pioneering settlements as an integral part of the country's defence disposition and laid down that half the period of military service should be devoted to agricultural training during which time the groups of embryo settlers would stay together.

On the 24th November 1949 the Army High Command issued an Order establishing the NAHAL - "Fighting Pioneer Youth".

NAHAL today

The NAHAL, like all branches of the army, is undergoing continuous modification as it seeks to adapt itself to the changing condition of the times and to local defence needs. However in spite of changes in its internal structure, NAHAL's essential aims and tasks have remained constant from the very beginning. NAHAL's aims

To absorb volunteers for settlement in such a way as to meet the combined needs of settlement and defence; to train the pioneer groups to function as active settlers during their period of military service and to adopt agricultural settlement as their way of life upon completion of their service.

NAHAL's tasks

In the military sphere: to take the NAHAL soldier, train him and provide him with military skills, give him an opportunity of gaining combat experience, and integrate him into the army's "order of battle" ready for any future war. In the sphere of settlement: to provide him with agricultural training and a knowledge of the workers' settlements; to educate him for physical labour; to help him become an integrated member of his settlement group; to develop a close connection with the "home settlement" which he will set up or to which he will be attached upon completion of his military service; to found settlements or outposts along the borders or in other politically or militarily sensitive areas or in areas not yet ripe for civilian settlement.

NAHAL's achievements in the sphere of settlement

From the time of its formation until today, the NAHAL has established 100 settlements, some as NAHAL outposts which later became permanent settlements and others which were set up from the very beginning as settlements and did not have to pass through the outpost stage. These settlements take the form of kibbutzim or smallholders' settlements.

The first NAHAL outpost was set up in July 1951 and was converted into a permanent 'settlement in September 1953- this was kibbutz "Nalhal Oz".

NAHAL's hundredth settlement is Holit, situated in the Gaza Strip, near a former NAHAL settlement, now kibbutz Sufa.

Today there are 14 NAHAL outposts and settlements scattered throughout the country as follows:
The Galilee - Zalmon; Kishur; Bet Rimon
The Jordan Valley - Ro'i; Almog
Samaria - Mevo Shilo; Kokhav Hashahar; Rimonim;
Jerusalem area - Tekoa
Gaza Srip & Rafiah - Netzarim; Morag; Haruvit; Holit
Northern Sinai - Oadesh Barnea (Oezima)

top top 

"Nahal" stamp