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IDF Counts 6,900 Lone Soldiers; Half Come From 73 Different Countries

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IDF soldiers finish their beret march following eight months of training. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld / IDF Spokesperson Unit

The Israel Defense Forces currently include some 6,900 lone soldiers, nearly half of whom immigrated from 73 different countries.

The lone soldier label applies to recruits who serve with no parental support in Israel. This includes Israeli natives who are orphans or have no ties to their parents, constituting some 48 percent of all lone soldiers. The rest include recruits who made aliyah while their parents live abroad.

A breakdown of countries published by the military last week showed some contributed hundreds of lone soldiers to the IDF, with 610 lone soldiers coming from the United States, as well as 488 from Russia, 332 from Ukraine, and 264 from France.

Multiple countries contributed dozens of recruits, with 98 soldiers immigrating from Argentina, while 80 soldiers came from each Britain and South Africa. Brazil contributed 63 recruits, ahead of countries including Canada (51), Kazakhstan (38), Colombia (23), Ethiopia (19), and India (13).

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Some other countries, in the meantime, could claim less than 10 recruits. For instance, seven recruits came from Switzerland, five from Japan, and one each from Serbia, Slovakia, and Botswana.

This year saw the enlistment of 87 new lone soldiers, the military said.

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