Breaking cover from a lookout point disguised as a dune, four soldiers storm into the open, ploughing through the sand with rifles aloft.
Their battle cries are like seagull calls, and from under their helmets, ponytails flap.
Team Mor is a spotter unit on Israel’s fenced-off border with Egypt, deployed at night to intercept would-be infiltrators from the lawless Sinai desert. Like dozens of others along the tense divide, it is all-female.
“We make a real contribution to protecting the country,” team commander Lieutenant Mor Dafna said during training drills at Sayarim field intelligence headquarters, marching distance from the frontier.
For illustration purposes only
...Israel’s female troops are allowed to wear their hair long and pulled back in pony tails, clearly identifying them as women and making for an unusual ensemble with combat gear and war paint.
“When we’re not concealed, and they (the Egyptian personnel) can see that we are girls, they’ll sometimes try to get our attention with messages - like one time when they lined up rocks in the sand to form a heart,” said the Team Mor sergeant.
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