Israel’s Karakal Battalion: Meet Women on Front Line Against ISIS


NITZANA, Israel — As Sgt. Talia Ben Tuvia scanned the Israel-Egypt border, there was no doubt in her mind that ISIS would one day attempt an attack from beyond the frontier.

“We don’t see the Daesh fighters, but they are there in [Egypt’s] Sinai and are threatening to harm Israel,” she said, using another name for the extremist group.

The 21-year-old is one of the female soldiers prepped for battle on Israel’s front lines.

160525_-_israeli_soldier_-_1139_d91ffb1e44935ef545d2b3d64561a127_nbcnews-ux-600-480Because Karakal Battalion is the main force protecting the border between Egypt and Israel, it’s likely that any ISIS militant attempting the crossing would come face-to-face with one of the women.

“I’m very proud to be a female soldier standing here saying that I’m not scared of ISIS,” Ben Tuvia said. “In the end it doesn’t matter if I’m a boy or a girl. If I have a gun we can all do the same thing.”
Since Karakal was established, the army has launched two more mixed battalions.Sgt. Kineret Hamada of the Bardales Battalion told NBC News she always knew she would be a soldier, just like her father, brothers, uncles and cousins before her.

“It was very important for me to give more for the country,” she said. “Many people disrespect combat women soldiers, which can lower your motivation, but I want my girls to hold their heads up and be proud and know they are doing something important.”

Asked if she was afraid of facing ISIS, Hamada replied with a smile: “We are waiting for this and are not afraid. This is what we are training for.”