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IDF All-Female ‘Cheetah Battalion’ in Covert Gaza Mission

In a groundbreaking move, Major Shira, a 29-year-old commander in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), has formed an elite all-female team to operate in the Gaza Strip. 

This initiative has been described as “another glass ceiling shattered” by Major Shira, emphasizing the milestone achieved by women in the military.

Milestone in Military Integration

While Major Shira couldn’t reveal specific details about their activities, she stated that the all-women team is contributing to the ongoing fighting and military intelligence. The creation of this team is a significant development, highlighting the expanding role of women in combat scenarios.

Major Shira received instructions from the commander of the mixed battalion, known as the Cheetah Battalion, to establish this specialized all-female unit. 

The team operates alongside male counterparts and collaborates with other special units, marking a collaborative effort in the IDF’s operations.

Captain Panina, a 26-year-old former police officer, is among the members of this historic task force. Like Major Shira, Captain Panina sees their battalion’s successes as paving the way for future female fighters in the IDF. 

She emphasized the groundbreaking nature of their actions, stating that they did things “that had never been seen before in the battalion.”

The IDF’s move to incorporate women in combat roles has evolved over the years. Although women were allowed to join the IDF as combat soldiers in 1948, they were initially prohibited from certain positions. 

The late 1990s saw a shift in policy, allowing women to join infantry units and the artillery corps. Since then, more roles have opened up, and attitudes towards female fighters have been gradually changing.

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Female Combatants in the IDF

In a groundbreaking move, Major Shira, a 29-year-old commander in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), has formed an elite all-female team to operate in the Gaza Strip.

Major Shira and Captain Panina both noted the changing attitudes towards female combatants, with Major Shira mentioning a reduction in raised eyebrows. 

They believe that their professionalism and dedication feel natural, particularly in the field where they contribute to missions and operational effectiveness.

This all-female team’s formation follows a previous instance where an all-female defense squad played a crucial role in liberating a kibbutz during the conflict with Hamas. 

Lieutenant Colonel Ben-Yehuda, leading a 12-women squad, demonstrated the capabilities of female combat soldiers, dispelling doubts about their effectiveness.

As the IDF intensifies its efforts against Hamas, the inclusion and success of female fighters in pivotal roles underscore a paradigm shift in military gender dynamics. 

Major Shira, Captain Panina, and their team stand as trailblazers, challenging stereotypes and contributing significantly to Israel’s defense efforts.

The IDF’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity continues to redefine traditional military norms, showcasing the invaluable contributions of women on the front lines. 

The actions of Major Shira’s all-female team symbolize a progressive step forward in the ongoing evolution of the IDF’s composition and operational effectiveness.

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