The IDF (Zahal)’s latest operation in the Gaza Strip, Operation Protective Edge, had a high cost of human life. Sixty-seven soldiers were killed on the ground and hundreds of others were injured during the fighting. The first soldiers to provide medical treatment to the wounded are the IDF (Zahal)’s paramedics, who are often female soldiers. Noam and Chen entered into Gaza with infantry troops with one mission: to treat injured soldiers and save as many lives as possible.
“Our tank battalion was under the command of the Nahal Brigade,” explains Noam. “Even though you’re the only girl around, the soldiers make you feel a part of it, they don’t make any distinctions. Most importantly, they know I can perform. We were under a lot fire but you can’t allow yourself to be in shock. There are wounded soldiers and I have to take care of them. Period.”
“I was appointed to an Engineering Corps battalion so our mission was to destroy the underground tunnels,” said Chen. “As paramedics, we received clear orders: do everything you can to bring the wounded back to Israel, even if you think there is nothing left to do.”
Both Noam and Chen were extremely proud to take part in such a mission. Part of their job was also to take care of the soldier’s minor, much less talked about wounds. “Because they stand a lot and their actions are very intense, lots of soldiers suffer small wounds, usually to their hands and feet. It does not require all of our knowledge to deal with these issues, but you need to take care of them because they can prevent a soldier from completing his mission,” explains Chen.