Cast Lead women show their mettle

Paramedics tell the 'Post' about their combat experience.

March 8, 2009 23:24
2 minute read.
Cast Lead women show their mettle

female idf paramedics 248.88. (photo credit: Yaakov Katz)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Meshi Sa'ad was in the Gaza Strip for 13 days during Operation Cast Lead in January. Ruti Caspi was inside for five, accompanying infantrymen from the Golani Brigade in the Gaza City neighborhood of Saja'iya. Bat-El Maman, who was wounded by a mortar shell a year ago, spent the offensive stationed along the border with the Strip. Gali Levy, who left her family behind in New York to serve in the IDF, was deployed with her Caracal Battalion along the Sinai border, trying to prevent criminal and terror infiltrations into Israel. All four women are paramedics in the army. They sat down with The Jerusalem Post on Sunday to discuss their experiences as combat soldiers and medics in honor of International Women's Day. An IDF paramedic undergoes a 14-month course that includes a month working in a hospital and a month in a Magen David Adom ambulance crew. If accepted, female soldiers, who are obligated to serve two years in the IDF, are asked to sign on for an additional 16 months. Almost half of IDF paramedics today are female. Paramedics are authorized to perform field surgeries if a doctor is not present. "We do almost everything," Maman said. During Cast Lead, she treated wounded soldiers who were evacuated to the border. "We stop bleeding, give morphine, treat shrapnel wounds, insert tubes into stomachs to drain blood, and basically everything that is needed in a battlefield," she said. Sa'ad spent 13 days as the only female inside an armored personnel carrier in Gaza, together with eight men. She treated a number of soldiers, including some who were seriously wounded. "When I crossed the border, I was a little scared, but after a while you get caught up in the work and get used to being there," she said. Most soldiers are used to seeing women paramedics serving alongside them during operations in Gaza and the West Bank, the paramedics said. But there are some - mostly career officers and reservists - who are not used to it. "One day I popped my head out of the APC and some soldiers saw me and couldn't believe that there was a female soldier serving in the Gaza Strip," Sa'ad said. Levy enlisted after completing a year of pre-med undergraduate studies at Duke University in North Carolina. Her American friends still have difficulty understanding why she is here. "They ask me what am I doing in Israel serving in the IDF," she said. "I explain that his is my country and that what I am doing is getting the best experience possible for a future medical career."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Supreme Court President Asher Grunis
August 28, 2014
Grapevine: September significance