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January 3, 2023 5:05 pm

Two Elite IDF Units Begin Trials for Female Recruits

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avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Female Israeli soldiers in training. Photo: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

Trials to admit female recruits into two elite Israeli military units began this week, amid a prolonged push to increasingly integrate women into roles traditionally dominated by men.

The trials center on Unit 669, an elite search-and-rescue unit of the Israeli Air Force, as well as the Yahalom unit of the Combat Engineering Corps, which handles sabotage missions, explosives, and identifying and destroying terror tunnels, among other responsibilities.

Trials for the Yahalom Unit are expected to include some 130 potential female recruits this year, with a first round of enlistment set for April 2023, and another for November 2023.

So far, 11 female candidates have been approved to participate in admission trials for Unit 669, following a review of their physical and medical data.

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Several recruits were only allowed to participate after confirmation “that they were close to meeting the physiological requirements,” the military said. Those who complete the trials must abide by established training requirements before joining the unit.

The military noted that the trials for Unit 669 and Yahalom were modified “in order to maintain the IDF’s operational standards,” but did not specify how.

In June, following a prolonged internal investigation, the Israeli military announced that it would experimentally broaden the number of combat roles available to women. At the time, the commander of Unit 669 said appointments “will be made possible based on the existing physiological criteria, and will be the same for women and men.”

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