Israel's military chief has apologized for what he says was meant to be a joke about female soldiers.
The military has been under fire since a group of religious soldiers walked out of an event where female soldiers were allowed to sing. Some devout Jews consider the female voice arousing.
Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was caught on tape making light of the affair with Defense Minister Ehud Barak during a tour of northern Israel on Tuesday,
On the tape, Barak is heard asking where the "girls" are and Gantz responds that they are on a break. He says: "They sing on breaks."
Israeli lawmakers and women's groups denounced the exchange as chauvinistic.
The men said Wednesday they were making light of the recent debate over the marginalization of women. In a statement, Gantz apologized.