Cpl. N. prays five times a day and wears a hijab when she is on leave from the Lions of the Jordan Valley infantry battalion • She has been threatened by villagers and by Arab soldiers, but she still dreams of a military career and stronger for Arabs and Jews in Israel.

When Cpl. N., who serves in the mixed-gender IDF infantry battalion Lions of the Jordan Valley, heads out on arrest operations in nearby Palestinian villages, she usually talks to the locals in Arabic.

N. is a 19-year-old pepper pot. She’s opinionated and knows what she wants to achieve. She is an observant Muslim who prays five times a day and during the Ramadan fast mostly takes night shifts. She is a combat infantry soldier in the Lions of the Jordan Valley Battalion, which executes operations in Judea and Samaria and nearly every day clashes with the Palestinians in the area.

“I don’t stop to think that these people are Arabs like me,” she says in fluent Hebrew.

“I always tell myself that they brought this situation – in which they are facing Israeli soldiers – on themselves, and I perform my mission as I need to. It doesn’t matter when I come from and who I pray to every day, or what I wear when I go home on leave. When I’m on a mission, I need to fulfill it in order to protect my friends, my country. That’s why I enlisted,” she says.

Read more…