Wednesday morning, the IDF Spokesman's Unit announced the names more Israel Defense Forces soldiers who were killed Tuesday in fighting in the northern Gaza Strip, including soldiers from the Givati Infantry Brigade’s Tzabar Battalion, and another two soldiers from the 77th Battalion of the 7th Armored Brigade.
The soldiers from the 77th Battalion were killed in battles with Hamas terrorists Tuesday at noon. Nine soldiers of the battalion were killed by an anti-tank missile that was launched and hit a Namir APC, and four more were injured in the incident.
Previously on Tuesday, the IDF notified the public that two other soldiers were killed in Gaza battles - Sgt. Roei Wolf and Sgt. Lavi Lipshitz of Givati, who were killed by an RPG missile that hit the building where the force was staying.
The 11 killed soldiers announced Wednesday morning:
- Lt. Ariel Reich, 24, from Jerusalem, a combat officer in the 77th Battalion, "Storm from the Golan" formation, was killed in battle in the northern the Gaza Strip.
Reich got engaged a week before the war broke out, and even while fighting he continued to plan the wedding. "He wasn't available all the time, and suddenly he sent me a save-the-date message, and said that he was looking for a DJ and photographer," said his good friend Liad Greenblatt.
Reich grew up in the Beit Hakarem neighborhood in Jerusalem and served as an officer in the 77th Armored Battalion. Last Saturday night he had time to talk with his good friends, Liad and Noam Elias. "It sounded like he was also a little afraid and didn't know what to say to us; it sounded like a farewell call. We told him to take care of himself, that he should get married in March, but he reassured us and told us that everything was fine. He explained to us that it was going to be close, he didn't explain when exactly. And something about Ariel that will always remain with us is this kind of calmness, he knows what he's doing."
"We were a gang, from the age of three we were together in the neighborhood, in the same settings, youth movements and every possible place. He was incredibly witty, funny and with a sense of humor," the friends said. Eight years ago, Ariel's mother died of cancer, and he took it upon himself as the oldest son to lead the family. "He was the big brother who always took care of his siblings and his family."
- Cpl. Asif Luger, 21, from Yagur, a soldier in the 77th Battalion, "Storm from the Golan" formation, fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
In the last phone call with his father, Luger was the one who calmed him down. "Asif knew I was afraid before they entered Gaza and told me, 'Dad, don't worry. I have no intention of dying'. That was actually the last time I spoke to him," his father, Idan, said.
Asif "grew up in a happy home, he loved music and every chance he had he was involved in music of all kinds. He was an editor, a sampler, a creator. He also loved parties, loved life and probably life loved him until this terrible moment."
- Sgt. Adi Danan, 20, from Yavne, a platoon commander in the Tzabar Battalion, Givati Brigade, was killed in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
Danan was spending Simchat Torah at home and planned to celebrate his birthday with his twin sister on Sunday. When the war broke out, he was called to the Gaza border that very morning. "Before he left for the battalion, he hugged me tightly. When we separated he said 'I love you, I'll be back' and he didn't come back," said twin sister Linoy, who serves as an IDF human resources officer.
Friday was Adi's last conversation with his mother, Vered and his twin sister. "He told us 'they are taking our phones, I love you.' We told him to take care of himself." On Tuesday, even before they learned of Adi's death, Linoy felt that something had happened. "I had a bad feeling all day, and in the evening I cried non-stop even before they came to tell us."
"He recently finished a military course and took care of his soldiers. He was insanely talented, a guy with a big heart of gold who loved life. He was a good friend and a perfect brother," said Linoy. "We were babies who grew up together, he was a sensitive person with values, the strongest in the world, the most beautiful in the world. a hero We will be strong for him."
- Sgt. Halel Solomon, 20, from Dimona, a soldier in the Tzabar Battalion, Givati Brigade, fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
- Sgt. Erez Mishlovsky, 20, from Oranit, a soldier in the Tzabar Battalion, Givati Brigade, fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
- Sgt. Adi Leon, 20, from Nili, a soldier in the Tzabar Battalion, Givati Brigade, fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
- Cpl. Ido Ovadia, 19, from Tel Aviv, a soldier in the Tzabar Battalion, Givati Brigade, fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
-Cpl. Lior Siminovich, 19, from Herzliya, a soldier in the Tzbar Battalion, Givati Brigade, fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
Last Thursday, when the preparations for the ground entry into the Gaza Strip were at their peak, Siminovich sent a message to his family group. "We'll talk when we get back our phones." This was the last message he sent to the family before he entered the Gaza Strip, where he was killed in the fighting in the northern part of the Strip.
"He was a charm of a guy. He was always optimistic, smiling. An amazing and smart man. He loved his younger brother Omri and his service in Givati very much," his mother said. Omri added: "Once every two or three days he would call and tell us that he would take care of himself. He was highly motivated and determined - he told me, 'We will go in and carry out the mission. Be calm.'"
- Sgt. Roei Dawi, 20, from Jerusalem, a platoon commander in the Tzbar Battalion, Givati Brigade, was killed in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
Dawi left a letter to his family before entering the Strip in his personal WhatsApp group. "He wrote that he would be entering Gaza, and that if he knew this was what would happen to him, he would have done it again. He wrote that he loved the family, and that he was going to flatten," said his father, Aryeh, painfully.
"He spoke to us on Friday before entering, informed us that his phone had been taken and that we could not ask questions," added his father. Roy was on discharge leave, and in two weeks he was supposed cut his military ID card. Meanwhile, he was about to propose to his partner.
"He loved Hapoel Jerusalem basketball. In the letter, which is actually a will, he wrote that if something were to happen to him, his mother should continue to love Hapoel Jerusalem and continue to go to the games," said the father. "He left a will, there was no fear in him. He is a dead hero, I would have preferred to have him alive."
- Sgt. Pdaya Mark, 22, from Otniel, a soldier in the Tzabar Battalion, Givati Brigade, fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip.
Sgt. Roy Saragusti, a platoon commander in Givati from the Nahal Haroeh farm, fell in battle during the fighting in the Gaza Strip.
Two more soldier deaths were announced later on Wednesday afternoon. They are identified as Staff Sgt. Itay Yehuda, 20, of Rishon LeZion, and Staff Sgt. Shay Arvas, 20, from Holon, who served as a combat medic.
In addition, during the fighting in the last day, two soldiers from the 77th Battalion, a soldier from the Tzabar Battalion and a soldier from the Rotem Battalion were seriously injured. Their families have been notified.
On Tuesday, the IDF released the names of two soldiers of the Givati patrol that were killed in the heavy fighting that took place in the ground operation of the 162nd (Steel Formation) Division, near Gaza City. They were killed by an RPG missile that hit the building where the Givat patrol force was sheltering.
The dead are Sgt. Roei Wolf, 20, from Ramat Gan, and Sgt. Lavi Lifshitz, 20, from Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut. In the incident, two more Givati solders were seriously injured.
The morning the war broke out, Wolf was camping with friends. "Already in the morning when they heard the announcement, they jumped up and arrived and fought in Nahal Oz and gave everything they could to protect the homeland," said his uncle, Shai.
"Roei didn't talk to us about the operation, he wanted to spare us descriptions and horrors. The only thing he said was that he loved us and that we should take care of ourselves," said his uncle. "Even when he met with his father before entering Gaza, in one of the convention centers, he couldn't speak. He apologized later that he was simply absorbed in himself, focused on a goal."
"Roei was a musician. He didn't study music, he taught himself to play. He started with drums, keyboards, guitar. Just a few weeks ago we sat together and played guitars," his uncle added. "He was a mischievous boy with a sense of humor, smart and insanely funny. Every Friday when we arrived at Grandma Yochi's house, there was a fight over who would jump on Roei and get his attention first."
On Wednesday morning, the IDF spokesman announced that, since the outbreak of the war, combined forces of the military struck more than 11,000 terrorist targets throughout the Gaza Strip, and that during the last night operational headquarters and squads of Hamas terrorists were attacked. He added that IDF troops identified several Hamas terrorists who barricaded themselves in a multi-story building - located near a school, medical center, and government offices - in the area of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. IDF troops directed the Israeli Air Force to strike the terrorists.
In addition, IDF forces identified a vehicle carrying anti-tank missiles which was driving toward the forces operating in the Gaza Strip. In response, the ground forces directed an aircraft that fired at the vehicle, and a hit was identified.