IDF soldier who trained dog killed in Nablus: Media ignores children killed in Gaza

The soldier who trained the canine stated that Israel does "not try to solve the conflict, but only manage it."

The funeral of Zili, a Border Police counterterrorism unit canine, August 9, 2022 (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
The funeral of Zili, a Border Police counterterrorism unit canine, August 9, 2022
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

Ben (Zili) Silberstein, the IDF soldier who trained the canine Zili who was killed in a counterterrorism operation in Nablus on Tuesday, expressed his distaste for the media coverage of the dog's death, compared to the attention given to the death of a 5-year-old girl in Gaza during last week's IDF operation.

"The number of references to the dog in the media, from the prime minister to the last member of the Knesset, is like the number of messages I received with condolences," Silberstein, who trained the dog when he entered military service, wrote on Facebook.

"I must admit that I initially felt mixed feelings regarding the story - on the one hand sadness for the loss of a dog that I knew from the day he was born, and pride that his name is being shared by so many people and referred to as a 'hero', and on the other hand a kind of inner sour feeling because this morning I spoke with a colleague of mine who lives in Nablus, who told me that she didn't leave the house until 12:00 because of the anxiety from the sounds of gunfire and explosions that were heard near her house this morning, and also about the huge number of wounded in the activities of the security forces in Nablus," added Silberstein.

"This is a reality in which the IDF knows that the missile that killed several civilians in Gaza is a missile fired by the jihadist group and reacts to it quickly, but when it knows that the missile that killed children is its own, suddenly there is silence. No one apologizes, no one publishes their name. This indifference kills," stressed the former soldier.

Silberstein expressed his displeasure with the reality that they are not trying to resolve the conflict, according to him. 

 Zili, the Counterterrorism Unit dog that was killed in Nablus on August 9. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT) Zili, the Counterterrorism Unit dog that was killed in Nablus on August 9. (credit: ISRAEL POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

"An Israeli dog that is killed captures more media coverage than a 5-year-old Palestinian girl who was killed in Gaza."

Ben (Zili) Silberstein, the IDF soldier who trained the canine Zili

"I don't know exactly who the 40 people who were injured this morning are, whether they were involved in terrorist activity or not. But this is exactly part of the problem. The reality in which we live is a reality that an Israeli dog that is killed captures more media coverage than a 5-year-old Palestinian girl who was killed in Gaza. This is a reality in which they do not try to solve the conflict, but only manage it. A reality that will result in many more deaths - dogs, soldiers and civilians."

"I am indeed a dog person, but I am also a people person. The death of a 5-year-old girl saddens me, the indifference to her death saddens me. And an elderly woman, who is a very close friend of mine, who lives under occupation and is afraid to leave her home, hurts my heart more than a dog who was killed while in operational activity." 

"I loved Zilli. And I know he did a lot of good things to protect me and my friends, both in the army and outside of it. Even now - I hope he helps me bring up an issue that is important to me to be discussed and that I hope will even better protect me and my friends in the future."

Operation in Nablus

Security forces killed 18-year-old Islamic Jihad member Ibrahim al-Nabulsi yesterday in Nablus. At first, the forces tried to arrest the terrorist, whose squad was eliminated in February, but there was an exchange of fire with Palestinians, during which about 14 Palestinians were injured, and the dog Zili, who served as an aid to the service for 9 years, was killed.