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**CHEN: Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces**
Prior to the establishment of the State in 1948, women played a vital role in the underground struggle for independence, participating in signals and combat roles in the Haganah, Palmah, Irgun Zeva’i Le’ummi and Lehi.
In 1948, following discussions as to whether women should be integrated into men’s units or whether separate battalions of women should be formed, which would serve in the brigade while remaining independent of it, the second option was chosen. Thus the Women’s Corps (“CHEN”—Hel Nashim) was founded on May 16, 1948. – [Source](http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/chen-womens-corps-of-israel-defense-forces)
[Original caption](http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Associated-Press-International-News-Israel-ARAB-/1d202f2465e5da11af9f0014c2589dfb/4/0):A female officer in charge of the range at the Hen women’s corps camp near Tel Aviv, Palestine, gives a demonstration in the handling of a Sten gun on June 15, 1948 in the Arab-Israeli War. Although non-combatants, members the new women’s Army in Israel are taught to use guns for defense. (AP Photo)