Hospital officials reported an improvement in the condition of Yehuda (Hai Ben Zion) Parsi, the soldier who sustained critical head and eye injuries during Saturday's anti-tank missile attack on an IDF patrol jeep near the Gaza border.
Parsi has regained consciousness and is currently breathing on his own. However, he remains hospitalized at the intensive care unit of the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba, and his doctors say he may never see again.
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"The ophthalmologists said it would be a miracle if he regains his sight," Moral, Parsi's sister, told Ynet. "They say the best case scenario is that he will be able to recognize shapes, but I am optimistic he will see again. I am certain of it."
Dr. Moti Klein, head of Soroka's ICU unit, said that Parsi has "regained consciousness, is breathing independently, is interacting with his surroundings and is receiving personal medical attention around the clock." According to Klein, Parsi's doctors are fighting to salvage his eyesight.
Parsi's parents added that the improvement in his condition is "a miracle. A result of our prayers."
His sister recalled that Parsi "woke up from his unconscious state, but was soon put back to sleep with the help of anesthesia after feeling pain. We spoke to him, asking him to nod his head or press our hand if he can hear us, and then he nodded his head. My parents told him the rest of the soldiers were fine and when my parents left the room they asked him to wave them good-bye, which he did."
Parsi before the attack (home photo)
Bonds of painSergeant Shimon Alenkari, the soldier moderately wounded in Saturday's attack, is hospitalized at the department of ophthalmology. His condition was said to improve on Sunday, and remained stable on Tuesday.
"It is a miracle that he survived the event," said Diana, the soldier's mother, adding that he and Parsi were operated on simultaneously. "A bond was formed between the families," she said. "Each prayed for the other. I am constantly going to check up on Yehuda's condition, and they are constantly coming to visit us."
Alenkari with his family at the hospital (Photo: Herzel Yosef)
The family wished to thank both the ICU and the two soldiers' IDF brigade for their help and support. "Our soldiers risk their lives daily so as to protect us, we should just salute them," they added.
On Sunday, Amir Biran, a third soldier lightly wounded in the incident, was released from Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. An additional soldier, Ashraf Bachri, is under observation in the hospital's surgical ward.
Site of the attack (Photo: Google Maps)
PM threatens with retaliation
Earlier Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the south and met with heads of local municipalities.
"These days we have one major mission, and that is to protect the residents of the south," he said. "Anyone who thinks he can disrupt the daily routine of the south without paying a heavy price, he is mistaken. My role as prime minister is to find the correct timing to respond."
Earlier Tuesday the Popular Resistance Committees' military wing released a video documenting the attack on the IDF jeep last Saturday. The jeep, which went up in flames, was patrolling the Gaza parameter near the Zeitoun neighborhood at the center of the strip.
Mati Savir, a Ynet and Yedioth reporter, contributed to the report