The IDF released a statement on the integration of female soldiers into combat units Tuesday.
"The IDF is a “Military of the People,” which functions professionally and in accordance with the operational requirements of the battlefield. This is done in order to achieve the IDF's goal of defending Israeli civilians and the State of Israel. A central aim of the IDF is to maximize human resources, while emphasizing operational requirements and providing opportunities for all military personnel to have meaningful service," the IDF spokesperson said.
"Today, women are involved in most of the positions in the IDF, including a large number of combat roles, combat support roles, technological positions, and command positions throughout the IDF.
"The Chief of the General Staff, LTG Aviv Kohavi, instructed the establishment of a task force , led by former Commanding Officer of the Ground Forces, MG Yoel Strick. The task force conducted a thorough examination regarding the placement of women in additional IDF combat roles.
"The task force examined the IDF's fulfillment of its goal, the first of which being meeting operational needs, as well as maintaining the health and safety of all IDF soldiers and utilizing IDF personnel to the fullest extent.
"The examination was presented to the Chief of the General Staff and the General Staff Forum in recent months.
"The Chief of the General Staff decided to begin screenings for the service of women in significant combat roles, including Unit 669, the special missions unit of the Combat Engineering Corps (Yahalom) and the Mobility Unit of the Infantry Corps.
"A number of additional combat positions will be opened to women following the conclusion that there is no negative impact on the IDF to including women in these positions.
"Combat courses will begin for women undergoing screenings for Unit 669, which is classified as a special forces unit. Candidates will be required to meet physiological threshold conditions defined by the professional staff and screening procedures for the unit.
"A trial period will begin to evaluate the inclusion of women for the special forces unit of the Combat Engineering Corps (Yahalom), which is a unit that performs unique operational tasks," the IDF spokesperson concluded.
Chief of the General Staff, LTG Aviv Kohavi said: “The IDF's goals of protecting the State of Israel and fulfillment operational missions are the leading values in examining this significant subject.”
“The IDF, as a ‘Military of the People’, provides meaningful service to all of its soldiers. Above all the IDF is committed to making professional, operational and fact-based decisions. The placement of soldiers in the IDF is based on professional considerations and in accordance with the operational needs of the battlefield. This is done while also making the best possible use of both men and women in most positions.
"In recent months, professional, thorough and extensive work has been carried out primarily to meet operational goals in accordance with the characteristics of the battlefield. The IDF also sees this as an opportunity for an in-depth examination of this complex and important issue. Professional consideration is the most influential factor in making the decision. The criteria examined were physiological abilities, suitability for the position and maintaining soldiers well-being.
“In front of us lies the expanding responsibility for maintaining the health of our soldiers, which is both a professional and moral duty. The IDF will continue to maintain its unique character, as a ‘Military of the People,’ which is also bound by the Joint Service Ordinance,” Chief of Staff Kochavi said.