FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 file photo a female Israeli soldier sits atop an armored vehicle as it drives towards Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on a combat mission. From France's Joan of Arc, to female resistance fighters of World War II and the black-clad women warriors of the Viet Cong, popular history is filled with stories of women fighting alongside men in epic struggles. The image of the gun-toting Israeli woman warrior is widely seen as the prototype of a gender-blind military. Reality is different. Israeli women are subject to the draft — serving two years while men serve three. But women were barred from direct combat until 2000, when the first and so far only mixed gender infantry battalion was organized. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File)
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