Medal of Valor
Hebrew name: Itur Hagvura

The Medal of Valor was instituted by the Law of Decorations in the Israel Defense Forces of 1970. This Law of Decorations relates to acts performed after June 4, 1967, but also to those earlier acts for which the title "Hero of Israel" or the Chief of Staff citation was given.  The Medal of Valor is awarded by the minister of Defense, upon recommendation by the Chief of Staff, for an act of supreme heroism in combat in the face of the enemy, at the risk of life.


At a ceremony at the president's residence in Jerusalem, 26 April 1973, the first medals of Valor were presented. Thirty two Medals of Valor were presented, among these, twelve to the holders of the title "Hero of Israel".

In May 1975 another 8 Medals of Valor were awarded, all of them for acts of heroism during the Yom Kippur War. According to IDF publications, in total 40 Medals of Valor were awarded.

Click here to see the pictures of the 40 awardees and the date and place of the actions.

Most likely no register was kept of the serial numbers of medals awarded, so recipients can not be identified by the serial number.

The medal presented to captain Ayalon
Government Press Office, Milner Moshe)


The design of the Medal of Valor was in remarkable contrast to that of the "Hero of Israel". The star of David and an olive branch, on a yellow ribbon is an obvious reminder of the yellow star of the Holocaust. The designer was Dan Reisinger. The medal was first minted in 1973 by Kretschmer of Jerusalem and issued by the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation. The original medal was made of 25 gr. silver and 45 mm diameter.

The medal is accompanied by a yellow ribbon.
Multiple awards:
If justified, more than once the same decoration may be awarded, however no additional medal can be presented. In this case a clasp of a miniature version of the medal should be mounted on the ribbon.
Privileges connected to the decoration
Wearers of the Medal of Valor are honored and often invited to attend official ceremonies. Some types of tax reductions are given.

The medal as once presented
 in an olive wood box

Medal versions:


Early version

Medal: silver medal without silver mark but with serial number (here covered).

Clasp: Dimensions 40.7 x 13.4 mm. Silver mark 925 on lower right corner.

Ribbon width 38 mm.

Modern version

Medal: nickel

Clasp: Dimensions 41.5 x 15 mm, chrome covered metal

Ribbon width 41 mm.

The new ribbon has a bright yellow color, instead of dark yellow


Modern version, since about 2012

Medal: nickel

Clasp: Large clasp. Clutch back


Admiral Ami Ayalon


Pinhas Noy with his wife and Ehud Barak


Pinhas Noy with an IDF delegation visiting Poland

Emil Brig, Hero of Israel,
holocaust survivor during a memorial ceremony in Auschwitz

Brigadier General Avigdor Kahalani, awarded the Medal of Valor for his acts on the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War (1973) and the Medal of Distinguished Service for acts during the Six Day War.

The yellow ribbon is not clearly visible. The other ribbons are for Peace of Galilee War, Yom Kippur and Six Day War. Click here to see the correct order of the ribbons
Sample of award certificate:

The document of this medal of Arieh Atzmoni