The first ever IDF combat camerawoman

Cpl. Abigail Ben Eliyahu completed combat cameramen training this week

Date: 30/08/2011, 6:34 PM     Author: Daniella Bokor

For the first time ever, a female combat soldier was trained as a combat camerawoman able to film IDF (Zahal) operations in real-time.

The IDF (Zahal) Spokesperson Unit in cooperation with the GOC Command train combat soldiers to document activity on the field. Eight courses of soldiers have already been certified as combat cameramen and are able to film riots, crossfire and even interview soldiers.

The soldiers provide a unique perspective and live images of what truly happens in the field, shown through the eyes of IDF (Zahal) soldiers.

Cpl. Abigail Ben Eliyahu, a combat soldier in the Karakal Battalion composed of both males and females, will completed the combat cameramen course this week, and even received a decoration for her excellence.

“This was an incredible course,” said Cpl. Ben Eliyahu, “and now I’ve acquired two professions during my military service: combat soldier and camerawoman. I now see the importance of the media in modern-day battlefields.”

“I have a lot of responsibility,” she continued, “as the first female combat camerawoman I must prove successful in the field.”

Just like every other female combat soldier in the IDF (Zahal), Cpl. Ben Eliyahu volunteered to serve in a combat position. “It’s important to me that more girls will have the incredible experience of being a combat soldier and contribute to the country as much as possible,” she explained.

Throughout the course Cpl. Ben Eliyahu learned several new combat techniques. The Karakal Battalion in stationed at the Israel-Egypt border and is unaccustomed to the urban settings of the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria.

Today, Tuesday (August 30), the combat cameraman course trained at the IDF (Zahal) Urban Training Center in southern Israel, the largest most intricate facility of its kind in the world. The exercise included mock violent riots representing the complex interaction between IDF (Zahal) soldiers and civilian populations.

“It’s crucial for high ranking officers to recognize the importance of real-time documentation from the field and continue developing it,” concluded Cpl. Ben Eliyahu.

Commander of the Combat Cameramen Unit, Maj. Micha Ohana said that “Cpl. Ben Eliyahu is the first and only female combat camerawoman thus far and she fit in perfectly. She worked extremely hard and excelled. I have no doubt she will prove a great asset in any media challenges we might face.”