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The Female Tank Soldiers

Anyone who has ever seen a tank rumbling over the sand, whether in real life or in a film, is amazed by its power. In this war, the tank brigade, who have always defended the country's borders, shocked everyone even more, as the soldiers fighting from within the tanks this time were…female combat soldiers.

On that terrible Shabbat, the soldiers awoke to the sound of sirens on their base in Nitzana on the Egyptian border. They immediately realized that something huge was taking place; a real threat to the State of Israel. Karni, the company commander, woke Michal, the platoon commander. They gathered their squads and got into the tanks. There were four soldiers per tank; a driver, gunner, loader and commander. They headed out onto Route 232 on the way to the settlements around the Gaza Strip.

On the way, they noticed the hole which the terrorists had smashed through the border fence between Gaza and Israel and the swarms of terrorists going through it. They left one tank there to make sure no more terrorists could enter and continued along the road, firing the machine gun and shells at the terrorists. Commander Michal's tank stopped near the Sufa post. A tough battle was being fought there with the terrorists and Michal's tank joined our soldiers. Together they managed to clear the terrorists from the post.

Commander Karni's tank continued on towards Kibbutz Hulit, where there were a large number of terrorists moving among the kibbutz homes. Commander Karni revved up the tank's speed and BOOM! She blew open the yellow kibbutz gate. Imagine a tank driving along the paths between the lawns and the kindergarten; paths meant for wooden baby carts and bicycles. The kibbutz was in danger and the soldiers fired non-stop. The female tank soldiers battled for 17 hours in Sufa, Hulit and near the border crossing fence and they turned the battle to Israel's advantage.

Tal, Sara, Tamar, Ofir, Shaked, Michal and Karni are ponytailed heroes. But they're not only heroes - they made history. This was the first time ever in the IDF, in the world, that women participated in tank battles. If you ask your parents, they very likely know the song "HaShiryon Asa Historia" (The Armored Brigade Made History), right? Well, nowadays we could sing it again, because there is no doubt that the female tank soldiers will be written into the history books of the IDF and the State of Israel.


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