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August 13, 2020 12:28 pm

Israeli Military Looking to Open More Combat Units to Women

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

A female Israeli soldier. Photo: Reuters / IDF.

The IDF on Thursday took a significant step toward allowing women to become combat soldiers in a multitude of units from which they are currently barred.

The Israeli news site Walla reported that IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi told the Supreme Court that a committee had been established to examine the issue of women’s combat service. The announcement came as a response to a petition to the court by four female candidates for combat roles.

Kochavi appointed Maj. Gen. Yoel Strick, head of Ground Forces Command, to head the committee, which will complete its work within a year and submit a report to the chief of staff and the Supreme Court.

The IDF stated to the court that it made decisions on combat service based on objective standards of operational effectiveness and utility. It added that 87% of all IDF positions were open to women and there were more than 3,200 women serving in combat roles every year.

Dr. Idit Shafran Gittleman of the Military and Society Program at the Israel Democracy Institute, said that the petition “makes it clear once again that the social demand for gender equality does not stop at the entrance to the induction center, nor does the obligation to realize this equality.”

Hagit Peer, the head of the women’s movement Na’amat, commented, “All IDF units must be opened immediately to women. The only relevant parameter in admission and placement should be their personal abilities and skills — regardless of gender.”

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