Gaza: This is how Israel’s army is training for the second phase of the war

A recreated “mini-Gaza”, a female tank battalion and engineers tasked with tracking down Hamas’ tunnel system: Israel’s army is preparing for a new, difficult mission. A site visit.

Desert dust swirls as the young women run. “Move!” shouts the commander in Hebrew. She’s just in her early 20s. Just like the other women who climb onto the tank, here in southern Israel near the border with Egypt. Their battalion is called Caracal – like the caracal wildcats that also hunt in Israel’s deserts. Most of the 800 members in this Israel Defense Forces combat unit are women. There are only female tank drivers in her company. One of them stays on top of the tank. The others climb in through a hatch, using nimble maneuvers. They have been practicing this every day since the war broke out on October 7th.

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