Haim Sabach, 20-year-old infantry soldier, killed from mortar fire in northern Israel

He was killed from a Hezbollah mortar round on a military outpost in the Upper Galilee region, bringing up the toll of all IDF soldiers fallen since the start of the war to 615; 'War is something that has costs, it will be heavy for Israel and catastrophic for Hezbollah and Lebanon,' said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant

Staff Sgt. Haim Sabach, a 20-year-old infantry soldier from Holon, was killed by a mortar shell fired from Lebanon at a military post in the Malkiya area of the Upper Galilee, the IDF announced Thursday moring. His family has been informed. Another soldier received minor injuries from shrapnel. To date, the conflict has claimed the lives of 615 IDF soldiers.
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חיים סבח
חיים סבח
Haim Sabach
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Of these 615 fatalities, 267 occurred during ground operations in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has reported that 26 soldiers are currently in serious condition, 157 in moderate condition, and 60 in mild condition across various hospitals. Since the conflict began, 3,361 soldiers have been wounded, 520 of them seriously.
Ziv Medical Center in Safed reported that the condition of the soldier who was lightly wounded –sustaining injuries to his hand and head – is stable. "The soldier underwent a series of tests conducted by Dr. Yosef Taha and remains under observation," according to the hospital.
The mortar attack on Wednesday came during another fierce day of fighting along the northern border, which included significant airstrikes in southern Lebanon and the targeted elimination of five Hezbollah operatives. This was in conjunction with numerous launches of rockets, anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs), and anti-tank missiles by the terrorist group targeting frontline Israeli communities.
Israeli Air Force jets struck a military building associated with Hezbollah's Radwan force in southern Lebanon on Wednesday night. Fighter jets also targeted other Hezbollah military structures and buildings housing terrorists throughout the day.
IDF spokesperson reported that an operation targeting over 20 terrorist sites in the Ramia area was completed using fighter jets and artillery. Additionally, about 100 Hezbollah targets in Lebanon were struck last week.
Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for 10 shooting incidents into Israeli territory, including attacks in the Malkiya area. Lebanese reports and Hezbollah's own statements assert that it launched rockets, ATGMs, and anti-tank missiles into Israel. Among these incidents, an anti-tank missile hit Highway 90 at the Goma junction near a local bus station in the afternoon, blocking the road southward. There were no casualties. Anti-tank missiles were also fired at Metula, Avivim, and surrounding areas; power outages occurred in Dovav and Avivim due to damage to a high voltage line.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited the Lebanon borderWednesday morning and conducted a situation assessment with Brigadier General Shai Klapper, commander of the 91st Division. Gallant expressed his determination to "restore security to the residents of the north and to rebuild what was destroyed." He warned, "The mission here is not yet complete – it could be a hot summer."
IDF strikes in southern Lebanon
(Video: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Speaking to reserve artillery soldiers in the sector, Gallant said: "This defense battle is complex, a battle where you are constantly expected to also react to the enemy, and you act proactively. And I think the entire division is conducting this battle excellently – we pushed Hezbollah away from the front lines to significant distances, which doesn't mean it's gone, but it's not there.
"In order to return the residents safely, a negotiating process or an operational process is needed, and it is the army's duty to prepare the operational process, which also serves as an anchor and foundation for another process. I am determined to return the residents to their homes safely and to rebuild the things that were destroyed," Gallant asserted.
"I am aware of the need and also in many ways of the feeling that the mission is not yet complete, and it indeed is not. War is something that has costs, it will be heavy for Israel and catastrophic for Hezbollah and Lebanon, and we aspire to reach a situation without going to war, but if that becomes the last starting point, we will take it, because in the end, we have a duty to fulfill our contract with the citizens," he concluded.
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