It is a common sight in coastal parts of Israel to see bikini clad beach babes carrying rifles, casually slung over the shoulders.
Like the girl in the photo shown here, all of those young women are members of the Israeli Defence Force.
This particular photo, taken on Tel Aviv beach, recently went viral on the internet, after being posted on Facebook under the caption "Only in Israel".
Readers have reacted with bemusement if not outright shock, at seeing such a dangerous-looking weapon strapped to the un-uniformed military girl in such a pleasant location.
However, the reason for it is quite simple.
Conscription in Israel
Israel operates a policy of compulsory conscription to every youngster, male and female.
When they turn 18, they must serve two years in the military.
For girls, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) offer a very fair gender policy and so officers in the ranks are made of a nice equal number of 50% women, and 50% men.
The whole of the IDF is one third female, presumably because women who are mothers, or who have disabilities, are excused service.
Why are women soldiers on the beach with their guns?
The Israeli army have very strict rules over the carrying of weapons.
Taking the weapons in or out of their secure armory involves a time-wasting amount of paperwork, waiting around, filling out forms and permission slips.
On a sunny day when the beach beckons, who has the time?
Weapons can't be left at home. The rules are quite clear. If you have your weapon out of armory, as you may well have for military exercises, then it must remain on or about your person at all times.
You will be jailed if anything happens to your rifle, or if someone steals it while it has been left unattended.
For this reason, it is a common sight in summer to see young off-duty military personnel walking about the streets, or on the beach, with their (unloaded) rifle casually strung about their person.
The people of Israel are so used to seeing such sights that they don't bat an eyelid.
To the rest of the world, it serves as a constant reminder that Israel seems to be permanently at war.
On thing we can't help but notice is that those girls (and guys) do not suffer from that Western affliction - obesity.
No doubt the gruelling exercises needed to become an efficient combat soldier results in sylph-like, slim bodies.
In fact, the Israeli Forces themselves are proud to promote their gorgeous female soldiers in order to encourage people to visit Israel.
With such beautiful women in their forces, the Israeli Foreign Ministry consulate in New York City released some photos of their beach babes sunning themselves, in a bid to promote tourism.
Perhaps it is time to introduce military conscription for girls across the globe?
The health benefits of such a move will be felt for years to come, and the misery of obesity will become a dim and distant memory.
Facebook Racy Photos of Israeli girl soldiers
Perhaps because of the worldwide notoriety the Israeli girl soldiers have gained, a group of them decided to post racy photos on Facebook.
This has led to disciplinary action as their faces were clearly shown in some of the photos.
Never mind, girls, I am sure you have cheered up half of the world's population by your antics!
Readmikenow on February 03, 2020:
I've been to Israel a few times. I was stunned when staying with a person and he would pick up guy and girls carrying a gun and take them to their base. He told me in Israel it is considered patriotic to do such a thing. Yes, requiring men and women to both serve in the military has given Israelis a stronger bond with one another as well as stronger national identity. I enjoyed reading this article.
MG Singh emge from Singapore on February 03, 2020:
This is a lesson many from other countries can take. It can be a great morale boost for the soldiers and tourists and health and physical benefits will favor it.
Nick Bishop on August 03, 2018:
Beautiful and intelligent women ready for battle. I am critical of a lot of Israeli's policies towards the Palestinians for example. However, women are a lot freer in Israel than in countries like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Chee Keong Ho on December 28, 2013:
I admire the way The Ministry Defence Of Israel do by making their female subjects the good warriors as good as their male subjects. And i admire too that their women soldiers still got their nice, beautiful, sexy bodies. Some of their bodies are hot and sexy too. Like and love them.
poetryman6969 on December 07, 2013:
She was only wearing a machine gun...I think that says it all...
cheekeongho on November 06, 2013:
They are sexy and beautiful woman warriors. I love them.
Politico Expert (author) from Europe on July 22, 2012:
No-one would be foolish enough to pinch the bum of those girls! Gun loaded or not, it'll do a lot more damage than a handbag if slapped over the head!
Good point about the sand, no doubt they get thoroughly cleaned before loaded.
Nick Hanlon from Chiang Mai on July 21, 2012:
I guees the girls in Israel REALLY,REALLY are sick and tired of being pinched on the bum.Only joking.Given the security situation it's understandable.Israel is going thru a quiet time of it at the moment but 10 years ago there we're a lot of suicide bomb attacks.All comes back to the question....how many gun massacres have there been at N.R.A. conventions?None...answers the question as to whether responsible should be allowed to carry weapons.
BTW The M-16 is prone to jamming from sand.Best to wrap it in a towel.
Politico Expert (author) from Europe on July 15, 2012:
I'm sure that is true, but in this case, the girls have their weapons about their person because the law requires them to do so. The weapons are unloaded, so war preparedness or otherwise isn't really the issue.
point2make on July 14, 2012:
An interesting hub. I never knew that Israeli soldiers would carry their weapons in this manner. A country in a constant state of war must adapt to their reality and always be prepared. We , in the west, have no real understanding of what the Israeli people live with everyday. Good hub.
Politico Expert (author) from Europe on July 14, 2012:
Absolutely! None of the girls in the photos look as if they are worried someone might wrestle the rifles off them. Probably really highly-trained in unarmed combat and superbly confident with it! What a great start in life for any young woman.
thechronicler on July 14, 2012:
Very interesting hub; I learned something new today. You bring up a very interesting possible solution to the American obesity problem. Not to mention compulsory military service would give some kids that age some needed kick-in-the-pants lessons in respect, honor, and discipline.
mio cid from Uruguay on July 14, 2012:
All I can say is,hooray for Israel. but it also makes us look even more victorian.