Female combat soldiers to cross enemy lines, face Hezbollah in IDF first

Written by on October 31, 2020

Ten female soldiers from the IDF’s field intelligence corps will make up a drone operating team within the previously all-male field intelligence battalion.

Female IDF soldiers of the Bardales Battalion (photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

Female IDF soldiers of the Bardales Battalion

(photo credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

Female combat soldiers will be front-line combat soldiers, called on to cross borders and confront Hezbollah in Lebanon for the first time, according to KAN news.

Ten female soldiers from the IDF’s field intelligence corps will make up a drone operating team within the previously all-male field battalion stationed on the northern border.

The unit is expected to become fully operational in the coming weeks.

Front-line combat soldiers, those who cross into enemy territory for operational activity, receive salary bonuses and other incentives for their service in these units.

Female combat soldiers have historically not been allowed in units that cross Israel’s borders and so have not been able to fill front-line combat roles.

In August, the IDF formed a committee to consider allowing women to serve in all combat positions in response to a recent petition to the High Court of Justice that asked it to force the military to allow women to try out for units that are currently open only to men.

Women are still barred from serving in infantry brigades, armored brigades, submarines and certain elite reconnaissance units, such as Sayeret Matkal and the Navy’s Shayetet 13.

Some mixed units separate male and female soldiers, with male soldiers serving as front-line soldiers while female soldiers do not, as was the case with the field intelligence battalion that has just accepted its first 10 women.

In May, four teenagers – Mika Kliger, Mor Lidani, Gali Nishri and Omer Saria – petitioned the High Court to force the IDF to allow all potential recruits to try out for elite commando units, regardless of their gender.

“We’re not asking that demands be changed for us,” Lidani told Channel 12 at the time. “Just let us try out, and if we qualify, let us join the units.”

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.

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