The IDF and the State today submitted to the Supreme Court their responses to petitions concerning including women in IDF armored combat positions, and revealed in the document the gaps in capabilities between male and female fighters serving in tanks.
"During December 2017, the then-Chief Armor Officer was presented with test results to pilot participants as part of their training process. Examining the average data of pilot tank operations revealed certain discrepancies between male and female tank fighters performing identical operational missions," the document states.
"Thus it has been found that the average response times and completion of shell loading, launching, first-fire, and rapid-firing by female fighters were significantly longer than the average time of male armored fighters (two or three times in relation to these operations)." The IDF concluded: "Of course, these gaps are of great significance in operational activities."
The Torat HaLichima organization responded: "After the rumors and conflicting messages from the IDF Spokesman along with a huge campaign by radical feminism lobbies, the State's response to the Supreme Court has officially shown that the military invested millions in a low-skill level pilot, and even this experiment failed. So did the previous pilots that tried to perform gender reconstruction as opposed to science and human nature.
"It is very unfortunate that former Chief of Staff Eizenkot lied when he defined the pilot in the media as 'successful'. This document justifies our demand of Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to disclose all the findings of the pilot to the general public," the organization added.
In State and the IDF responses to the Supreme Court, the judges are asked to delete the petitions, partly because the Chief of Staff's decision to continue a graded examination of integrating women as tank fighters was adopted following a lengthy and in-depth examination process, with due care and careful consideration. It would therefore be a correct decision that there is no reason to interfere, the State claimed.
"After thorough examination of the insights gained, the Chief of Staff on January 5, 2020 decided to advance to the next stage in examining women in tanks for Border Protection Missions as part of a comprehensive path that will open during the current year to several dozen recruits who will meet the criteria that will be set, including significant periods of training and of operational experience. At the end of the training phase and operational activities in the said track, a status assessment will be made and decisions will be made whether to continue, based on the experience that will accumulate," the State response states.
The State's response further states that the Chief of Staff's decision was made in professional and straightforward manner, taking into account all relevant considerations including the security aspects, the IDF's competence to meet its operational tasks for protecting the State and its citizens, the aspects of equality, as well as the physiological and medical aspects that need to be addressed.
Furthermore, the petitions were submitted in the midst of the headquarters work before the Chief of Staff's decision was taken, and were therefore not based upon that decision. Therefore, the State contends that the petitions relating to out-of-date factual infrastructure are no longer relevant and should be deleted.