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February 23, 2017 8:52 pm

Report: Number of Female Soldiers Serving in IDF Ground Forces Jumped 350% in 2016

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

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A female IDF soldier takes aim during a shooting competition. Photo: IDF via Wikimedia Commons.

A female IDF soldier takes aim during a shooting competition. Photo: IDF via Wikimedia Commons.

The number of female soldiers serving in combat roles in the IDF Ground Forces jumped 350% from 2015 to 2016, Israel Defense reported on Thursday.

The IDF, the report said, has been seeking ways to boost its number of female fighters. A total of 1,300 women now serve in Ground Forces combat units, according to the report.

Figures unveiled at a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting last month showed that 2,800 women were set to serve in combat roles throughout the entire military in 2017.

Brig. Gen. Eran Shani — head of the Planning Brigade and Manpower Administration in the IDF Personnel Directorate — told committee members, “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.”

The military, Shani noted, was working to establish its first-ever training base for mixed-gender battalions.

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