Members of an all-female tank crew that ran down dozens of Hamas terrorists on October 7 are proud of themselves and are eager for further combat operations, Lt. Michal Ohana, an officer in the Caracal mixed-gender light infantry battalion, tells lawmakers.
Testifying in the Knesset at a conference on the topic of “Women’s Heroism in the War,” the 21-year old tanker declares that her soldiers “felt a crazy significance” after the battle, are “proud of themselves” and “want more.”
The soldiers are part of a company of all-women tank operators, which was made permanent in the Israel Defense Forces in 2022 after a two-year pilot program. The company usually operates along the Egyptian border — not in wars or in fighting behind enemy lines.
On the morning of October 7, Ohana and her fellow soldiers left their base at Nitzana and drove north as fast as they could, in tanks and an armored Humvee. In one of a number of highly irregular decisions IDF commanders were forced to make that day, the tanks were given the okay to drive on civilian roads — at speeds far higher than recommended.
Speaking to Channel 12 in November, Ohana recalled how she “saw terrorists everywhere, and I told the driver — just run them down.”
In response, IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi declared that their actions had silenced any doubters over the ability of women to be in combat units. Since October 7, the army reports that it has seen a massive spike in female conscripts seeking to join combat units.
Lawmakers and bereaved parents last month demanded an investigation into the IDF’s apparent disregard for the warnings of the female surveillance soldiers tasked with watching the Gaza border in the weeks before the Hamas massacre.