IDF announces formation of a new co-ed light infantry battalion

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

The Israel Defense Forces announces the formation of a new co-ed light infantry battalion, which will be stationed along the West Bank security barrier.

The 49th battalion, to be named Panther, will be part of the Border Defense Corps. The corps already includes several co-ed units that patrol Israel’s peaceful frontiers with Egypt and Jordan.

The IDF says the decision was made following a months-long operation in the West Bank, during which numerous reservist units were dispatched to the West Bank security barrier to prevent Palestinians from entering Israel. Several Palestinian terrorists managed to enter Israel through gaps in the fence earlier this year.

The unit will begin work sometime next year, with the first soldiers drafted today.

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