Although women are in the minority when it comes to Israeli combat soldiers, they make up 55% of field intelligence officers, a number of which are stationed along the border with Egypt.
Israel’s female soldiers are permitted to keep their hair long, pulled back in pony tails, making their sex easily identifiable. For Team Mor, a unit which is stationed on the border, this can mean they receive extra attention from Egyptian military personnel garrisoned on the other side of the border.
“When we’re not concealed, and the Egyptian personnel can see that we are girls, they’ll sometimes try to get our attention with messages – like one time when they lined up rocks in the sand to form a heart” a sergeant in Team Mor told Reuters.
But it’s hard work on the border. In the camouflaged crawl spaces that serve as border positions, soldiers can spend several days nearly stationary in the desert heat, watching through military issued binoculars, calling in reports of suspect movements. According to Colonel Richard Kemp of the British Armed Forces “In my experience, while men tend to be physically stronger, women often tend to be more systematic, thorough and have a greater attention to detail, which is obviously better for intelligence collection and analysis.”