‘No mother wants her son to die’

Mother of Eliraz Peretz, killed Friday in Gaza, says she has taught her children "to live with heroism and pride in this country.”

Uriel Peretz z"l 311 (photo credit: Channel 2)
Uriel Peretz z"l 311
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Maj. Eliraz Peretz lost his childhood home in the evacuation of Sinai, and his brother Uriel in an explosion in Lebanon in 1998.
His neighbor and friend in the Eli settlement where he lived, Roi Klein, was also a major in the Golani Brigade, and was killed in the Second Lebanon War.
The home of Peretz, a father of four small children, like that of Klein’s widow,  Sarah, has had a demolition order issued for it because it is located in an unauthorized area of Eli known as the Kiryat Hayovel outpost.
Just before the start of Shabbat, Peretz’s wife, Shlomit, learned that her 31-year-old husband, deputy commander of the Golani Brigade’s 12th Battalion, had been killed, along with St.-Sgt. Maj. Ilan Sviatkovsky from Rishon Lezion, in combat with Palestinian gunmen in the southern Gaza Strip, near Khan Yunis.
Peretz’s mother, Miriam, who lives in the Givat Ze’ev settlement, told Channel 2: “There is no mother, not on our side and not on theirs, who wants her son to die. I have taught my children to live with heroism and pride in this country.”
According to Ma’ariv, after his brother Uriel’s death, Eliraz eulogized him by saying, “You, Uriel, you always said we must continue and not give up, that we must be better and always invest ourselves in what we do. You always believed that this was the right way, and that sometimes you had to pay a price, even that of your life.”
In a letter Peretz wrote his father just before his wedding, he thanked him for signing the IDF form that allowed him to continue to serve in combat, despite having lost a brother in Lebanon.
“Throughout all the wars, I knew I wouldn’t die. Even when I was wounded I didn’t lose hope, just the opposite,” Peretz wrote then.
According to Peretz’s neighbor Tamar Ashraf, he named one of his son’s after his brother.
“He was always energetic and full of life,” Ashraf said. She added that he was like a second father to the children of Roi Klein.
Sviatkovsky came to Israel with his family in 1994 from Uzbekistan.
He was planning a post-army trip to India after his release from the army in six months.
Just before his death, he had written on his Facebook page: “My last Shabbat in Gaza.”
There are now two Facebook pages dedicated to the memory of both soldiers, and one just in honor of Sviatkovsky.