Osnat Levi and Noga Shina, the first female tank commanders in the IDF’s history and who were trained in a pilot program to integrate women into armor, and Afik Shema, one of the officers who accompanied their training, filed a petition against Defense Minister Naftali Bennett and Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi this morning.
According to a Galei Tzahal report, in the petition, Levi demanded the judges order the Defense Minister and Chief of Staff to recruit women to armor.
This is the second petition on this issue, after last September the young women Ohr Abramson and Maayan Halberstadt petitioned the Supreme Court to demand that they be allowed to take up combat positions in the Armored Corps.
After the pilot in which several female tank operators were trained to serve in combat, Chief of Staff Kochavi decided not to recruit women for armor. The military’s argument was that, at this stage, integrating women into armor requires the allocation of many resources that the military cannot invest.
In an interview Osnat Levy tried to claim: “I picked up shells, and my friends lifted shells too, and we were good and even better than the men, really without any shadow of a doubt.”
In coming days Chief of Staff Kochavi is expected to decide following the petition of the two whether to allow women to be recruited to the Corps and formally respond to the Supreme Court. In early February, the first hearing of this petition will be held in the Supreme Court.
Studies have found that a particularly high percentage of women who served in combat roles suffered physical harm during their service and will suffer for the rest of their lives from ruptured discs, stress fractures in the pelvis, uterine prolapse, and more.
One study indicated that a full 46% of the female soldiers suffered injuries during their initial period of training, as opposed to 25% among the men. One third of the women in the study were injured more than once.
The injuries included torn ligaments, sprains, knee pain, back pain and stress fractures. The latter were much more common in women, afflicting only 2% of men but 8% of the women.
The IDF Spokesman said: “A decision has not yet been made regarding the integration or non-inclusion of female tank fighters in border protection missions; this issue will be decided later.”