Lieutenant Colonel Yaniv Asor, commander of Golani's Battalion 51, who lost eight soldiers in fierce fighting with Hizbullah in Bint Jbeil, says he is ready for any mission set by the Chief of Staff.
"What's my new mission? I am ready for everything," he said.
Commander Asor's motivation was relayed to the media by Colonel Ofek Boukhris, commander of special operations of the Galilee Division.
Injured Golani soldiers arriving at Rambam hospital (Photo: Doron Golan)
"Asor's tone showed how much he is hurt, but he is determined to carry on the fight," Boukhris told Ynet. "Everyone needs to understand that this is really war between a state that wants to exist and a blood-thirsty terror group that wants to kill. We are in this war now and it is impossible to promise that no more soldiers will get hurt. We have to be prepared for this too, to bite our lips…as Golani fighters are doing as we speak," he said.
Accounts of bravery
The Northern Command continues to investigate Wednesday's events in Bint Jbeil where three officers and five soldiers were killed and another 22 were injured.
Colonel Boukhris estimates that Hizbullah terrorists planned to kidnap an injured soldier but the fierce resistance of Golani fighters prevented that from happening.
"Hizbullah men launched an attack. The fighting was face to face. It is true we lost fighters but the other side was really hurt. I admit that I am not happy with the results but that doesn't mean we will stop acting. It is a difficult battlefield and a war and instead of looking for mishaps we need to show responsibility."
Colonel Boukhris notes that at least 20 Hizbullah fighters were killed in the battle.
"The enemy was hit severely, not only in this fight. We need to remember that although in Israel people prefer to speak about our casualties, Hizbullah is being hit and will continue to sustain blows and that's our focus," he added.
Golani fighters who survived the battle recount that Major Roee Klein who lost his life in Bint Jbeil, saved the life of his commanders by throwing himself on a hand grenade. "I still don't know for sure what happened there, but I won't be surprised if the description is accurate. Roee was a top quality commander and this description suites him."
Boukhris said Golani soldiers are operating and will continue to cooperate in Lebanon despite the pain inflicted by the loss of eight of their comrades.