fbpx

They are known as Israel’s eyes on the Gaza border.

For years, units of young female conscripts had one job here. It was to sit in surveillance bases for hours, looking for signs of anything suspicious.

In the months leading up to the 7 October attacks by Hamas, they did begin to see things: practice raids, mock hostage-taking, and farmers behaving strangely on the other side of the fence.

Noa, not her real name, says they would pass information about what they were seeing to intelligence and higher-ranking officers, but were powerless to do more. “We were just the eyes,” she says.

It was clear to some of these women that Hamas was planning something big – that there was, in Noa’s words, a “balloon that was going to burst”.

Menu