Unlike other armed forces, sidearms are rarely used in the IDF, even within its vast SF community. Instead, handguns are issued almost exclusively to units who undergo the IDF Counter Terror School courses.

All handguns used with the Israeli SF are 9 mm in caliber, however, the make and model used differs between Law Enforcement and IDF units. IDF SF use Glock 17/19 and Sig Sauer P226/P228, while law Enforcement SF units use Glock 17/19 and Jericho. In recent years Glock has become the preferred handgun platform, gradually replacing the Sig P226/P228 with IDF SF and the Jericho with Law Enforcement SF.

In 2016 Glock won the Israeli Police bid for its future standard issue handgun, and will replace all the Jericho handguns currently in service with the Israeli Police.

Handguns on display in the IDF Counter Terror School. Top to bottom - Glock 17, FN HP, suppressed Sig 228 and suppressed Berretta 0.22.


PALSAR Golani operator engaging targets through a window with a handgun during training. The operator is also armed with an Micro Uzi seen hanging from his right side. Note a FN HP tacked in the foreground operator belt.


PALSAR Tzanhanim  operators during training in a mockup Palestinian village. Standing operators armed with handguns. Seen on the ground is a third operator simulating a terrorist and armed with an M4A1 fitted with an Elbit Falcon and a blank firing attachment (photo: IDF).


SF team armed with handguns during training at the IDF Counter Terror School. CT instructors are seen on the left side (note t-shirts).

Weapons Guide