HEAR THEM ROAR: Israel deploys world’s toughest all-female ‘Cheetah Battalion’ on secret op in heart of Gaza to hunt for Hamas’s leaders
This comes after decades of female fighters pushing for involvement in the Israeli military
ISRAEL has deployed a battalion of their best, strongest and most professional female fighters to carry out a “special activity” in Gaza.
29-year-old Major Shira, the commander of this elite all-female team, described their actions in the Gaza Strip as “another glass ceiling shattered”.
She told Israeli media that she received instructions from the commander of the mixed battalion dubbed the Cheetah Battalion to create an all-women team.
Although Major Shira was unable to reveal much information about their activity, she said that their specialist team was helping with the continuation of fighting and military intelligence.
She said: “We are fighters alongside men and in cooperation with special units.
“This is a high point, another glass ceiling that has been shattered.”
Captain Panina added: “This is one of the most frightening, exciting and significant events. In the end when you enter it is a battlefield.
“You see, hear and smell everything. October 7 was a turning point, everything we have experienced since then is complex.
“The feelings are mixed, there is no one in the country who has not lost someone or been injured.”
She went on to speak about the “crazy motivation” female combatants are currently experiencing, and suggested that the war has changed her societies attitudes to female fighters.
“The reactions are exciting and moving, there is a lot of interest.”
While Major Shira said: “There were always raised eyebrows, and now a little less.
“We see that the attitude is changing, we pass through the settlements and see the citizens’ perspective.
“We receive a lot of feedback about the professionalism, and our truth is that it feels natural, especially in the field.
“We breathe the mission and the operationality.”
Although women were allowed to join the IDF as combat soldiers in 1948, following the end of the War of Independence, women were banned from holding such positions.
This stance lasted until the late 1990s when women were permitted to join infantry units and the artillery corps.
Israeli forces have been warning civilians to leave, but Hamas are feared to be using innocent Gazans as human shields.
Tens of thousands more Palestinians are feared to still be lying under the debris.
Most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are now homeless, trapped in a coastal enclave with no shelter, no food, and no water.
UN officials have warned that without a ceasefire, Gaza risks becoming a slaughterhouse.
Israeli troops often work in mixed battalions – but there are some all-female units.