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January 31, 2017 1:57 pm

Israeli Military Sees Spike in Number of Women Serving in Combat Units

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Sarit Petersen, an IDF soldier, several years ago was named one of “8 Female Soldiers Who Shattered Barriers in 2013.” Photo: IDF.

Sarit Petersen, an IDF soldier, was named one of ‘8 Female Soldiers Who Shattered Barriers in 2013.’ Photo: IDF.

JNS.org – The number of women serving in Israel’s combat units continues to rise, with about 2,800 slated to fill such roles this year, according to figures revealed in a special meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

The Israeli Navy saw a 93 percent increase in females serving in combat positions and there were double the number of women serving in such roles with Israel’s Border Police. The IDF’s Homefront Command had 38% more women in its ranks this past year and the number of female soldiers in artillery units was up 19%.

Brig. Gen. Eran Shani, head of the Planning Brigade and Manpower Administration in the IDF Personnel Directorate, told the committee meeting, “As we are an army of the people, we aspire to integrate all population sectors and allow the greatest possible equality of opportunities. We have expanded the number of roles open to women, which now comprise 90 percent of all service positions in the IDF.”

Shani added that the military is working to establish its first-ever training base for mixed-gender battalions.

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