Israelis reservists thrust into unknown on frontlines of war with Hamas

October 18, 2023

"It's surreal to be here", said Amir, one of more than 360,000 Israeli reservists called up for the war against Gaza-based Hamas militants. Civilians one day, men and women like Amir become soldiers the next. Most Israelis who have already done their mandatory military service remain in the reserves until age 40. Since the last week, at least 258 Israeli soldiers have been killed in fighting, the army said. Since October 7, entire planes have been chartered to bring home reservists and other Israelis.