'Soldiers between terrorists, civilians'

Ashkenazi tours Gaza border, addresses Golani compatriots of Eliraz Peretz.

By BRACHA KURTZER
March 28, 2010 20:35
1 minute read.
Ashkenazi addresses group of soldiers

Ashkenazi Uniform 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

 
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IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi on Sunday visited the southern border area where where Maj. Eliraz Peretz and St.-Sgt. Ilan Sviatkovsky were killed in an exchange of fire with Hamas terrorists who were planting explosives along the Gaza Strip security barrier last Friday.

Ashkenazi was briefed of the main events that took place Friday, and was given a tour of the area accompanied by OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, head of IDF Operations Directorate Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo and OC Gaza Divison Brig.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg.

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During Ashkenazi's visit he addressed the commanders and soldiers of the Barak battalion of the Golani Brigade, who lost their depute commander and brigade compatriot in the terrorist fire.

Ashkenazi said to the soldiers that they "represent the barrier between terrorists and civilians," and that they should be "prepared for more events of this sort."

Ashkenazi mentioned that he highly respects the intense work that the brigade has done along the Gazan border, and that he is depending on their continual success and hard work to keep the area safe. He added that he recently spoke with the residents of the various settlements around Gaza, and their feeling of safety is directly related to the effort the Golani Brigade has put in to the locale. Their days and nights spent on the border pay off greatly.

The IDF chief told the soldiers that he had known  St.-Sgt. Uriel Peretz - the deceased brother of Maj. Eliraz Peretz, who died in Gaza on Friday - for a long time. "The Peretz family is an exemplary family, and all of Israel will continually support and comfort them along with all of Israel." He added that now the family finds themselves in a place where they need to "bite their lip, and move on."

Ashkenazi finished his address by saying how important it is to leave every situation with an understanding and a lesson for the future." It is very sad to lose some of the best of our commanders and soldiers, but we must continue to fight in order that Israel will be able to live here in safety and quiet."

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