Israeli female soldier at the beach, dangerous curves but where are the bullets..
Standing confidently on the beach, with a rifle casually slung over her shoulder, you would think twice about knocking over this woman’s sandcastle.
The bikini-clad subject is thought to be a solider and a member of the highly-trained Israeli Defence Forces.
Since the surprising photo, snapped in Tel Aviv, was posted on the internet it has gone viral with many users reacted with shock at seeing such a hostile weapon on a sunny beach.
Some internet users were perplexed as to why the woman in the photo would be at the beach with a rifle- which does not appear to have a magazine loaded – but not in her uniform.
But other users were quick to point out there could have been practical reasons for the solider to take the weapon to the beach.
Under Israeli military regulations, if members take their weapon out from their military base they must keep them near at all times.
Punishments for losing or misplacing a weapon can include time in a military prison.
The photo, which has now been viewed hundreds of thousands of users, seems to have originated on Facebook under the title ‘Only in Israel’ and then spread across the internet, including onto the social news website Reddit.
One user on the website wrote: ‘An explanation for this photo (I served in the IDF): the girl probably went to beach right after being at the base and serves in a unit that requires her to carry a weapon (not necessarily a combat role), she didn’t want to go through the paperwork and permission required to leave the gun at armory.
‘Outside of the base we’re required to either lock our weapons or have them on us. You can clearly see what she chose.’
Another user wrote: ‘The photo is taken on the beach in Tel Aviv, and it is commonplace to see such sights during the summer.’
Israel’s compulsory military service means that almost the entire female population must spend two years in the military after reaching 18.
Women make up almost one-third of the force, and 50 per cent of its officers, making the Israeli Defence Forces one of the most gender-equal units in the world.
It is not the first time that women from the IDF have been photographed in their bikinis on the beach.
In a bid to promote tourism, in 2007, Israel’s Foreign Ministry backed a public relations campaign out of its consulate in New York showing former female soldiers in minimal wear on its sunny beaches.
‘We want to make people in the world to see Israel through our glasses,’ said Aviv Shiron, Deputy Director General for Media and Public Affairs in the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
‘The image of Israel is not only men, either armed in uniform, or Jewish orthodox dressed in black…you have beautiful women here,’ added Mr Shiron.
In the same year a spread in July’s issue of Maxim magazine featured female Israeli ex-soldiers in bikinis headlined ‘Women of the Israel Defence Forces.’