Following are excerpts from a report about the first female paratroopers in the Palestinian Authority forces, which aired on Palestinian Authority TV on September 18, 2013:
Interviewer: Manar, you are a member of the special national security unit, which consists of 30 young women. Four of you have traveled to Russia, where you underwent training, which culminated in jumping out of an airplane. Tell us a bit about the training in Russia, since this is the first time you left Palestine for training.
Palestinian paratrooper Manar Barahima: Good morning, my name is Manar Barahima from Jericho. First, we underwent intensive training in Jericho. We trained for a week. For eight days, to be precise, and two days later, we flew to Russia. In Russia, after one day of rest, there was day of lectures. We listened to lectures and underwent intensive training. The following day, we parachuted...
Interviewer: On your second day?!
Manar Barahima: Yes, it happened very quickly. Thank God, we returned safe and sound.
Interviewer: That's the most important thing.
Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Hafz Al-Rifa'i: This is the first time that [Arab] women are parachuting, and a special unit is established. The Palestinian security forces are the first among all the Arab armies.
Palestinian paratrooper Lara Abu Kuweik: I joined the national security forces seven months ago. I joined the special operations unit because I wanted to make a change, and to prove that women can do more than just administrative work. No, women can perform combat and military activity just like men. The military should not be a monopoly of men. We women are strong and can do anything the men do.
My first and second jump went well, thank God, but on my third jump, there was a strong wind and I was terrified, so I landed badly and broke my leg. You could say that this was a bit like dying, but we were all ready to die in order to make our country proud.
Photographs of the female Palestinian paratroopers in training