Caracal soldiers during training exercise
Caracal soldiers during training exercise Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Zionist Union MK Eyal Ben Reuven, a Major General in the reserves, said that he opposes the IDF's attempt to integrate female soldiers in combat units, opining that the army should investigate whether women can handle the rigors of combat duty.

"Women would have a serious problem were they to get stuck in a Merkava tank in the heart of the Lebanese village of Ayta Ash-Shab," Ben Reuven said, referring to the village which had been the site of heavy fighting during the Second Lebanon War. "You need to change the treads, which are very heavy. I say that we should check this issue slowly and carefully."

When queried, Ben Reuven said that he did not believe that women can do anything about it. "The answer is no. I think that if you would take a woman and put her in the Golani Reconnaissance Company, it just wouldn't happen, it couldn't happen because of physiological givens."

Ben Reuven's statements echo remarks by MK Miki Zohar (Likud) on Wednesday. "It is wrong to lower the IDF's level of readiness in order to recruit more women. I've been hearing that the IDF has lowered its operational level in order to allow women to draft to combat units. I hope this isn't true," Zohar told Radio 101.5.

"A man is born from a woman and women have advantages that men don't have, that is how God created us and we need to accept that," added Zohar.

The IDF has been investing heavily in mixed units, recently dedicating 58 million shekels ($17 million) to build a mixed training base for its Caracal, Bardalas, and Lions of Jordan Battalions. It hs lowered standards for women's combat training.