Tel Aviv [Israel], December 8 (ANI): Master Sgt. (res.) Gal Meir Eisenkot, the son of Israeli Minister Gadi Eisenkot, and Sgt. Major (res.) Jonathan David Deitch of the 55th Brigade’s 6623rd Reconnaissance Battalion have been killed in the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel reported quoting the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
The IDF informed that Eisenkot (25), of the 551st Brigade’s 699th Battalion from Herzliya, was killed in northern Gaza.
It added that three other troopers were seriously injured and shifted to hospitals for treatment. The IDF said Deitch was killed during a gunbattle in the southern Strip, according to The Times of Israel.
His father, Gadi Eisenkot, is a former IDF chief of staff and is currently serving as a minister in the emergency government on behalf of Benny Gantz’s National Unity party. He is also an observer on the high-level war cabinet, which is leading the decision-making amid the ongoing war with Hamas, the daily added.
Gal Meir Eisenkot was killed after a bomb exploded in a tunnel shaft near soldiers in the Jabaliya camp in northern Gaza. He was taken to a hospital in Israel, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Eisenkot received the news about his son’s death while touring the IDF’s Southern Command along with Benny Gantz on Thursday, the Times of Israel stated in its report.
A total of 89 Israeli soldiers have been killed since the start of the ground offensive in Gaza.
The IDF announced the deaths of Eisenkot and Deitch amid heavy fighting in Gaza, as Israeli troops advanced into major Hamas strongholds in the northern and southern parts of the coastal enclave, The Times of Israel reported.
Israeli lawmakers extended their condolences to Eisenkot over his son’s death.
In a statement, Benny Gantz said, “Our hearts are broken. On the eve of Hanukkah, Gal’s candle was extinguished”, referring to the Jewish holiday of lights that begins Thursday evening.
“We are all committed to continue fighting for the sacred mission in whose name Gal fell,” he added.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Gal Eisenkot “a brave warrior and true hero”, according to The Times of Israel.
“Our heroes did not fall for nothing. We will continue until victory,” Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said, adding, “May we be worthy of Gal’s sacrifice, and of all those who fell in this just war.”
Speaking highly of Gadi Eisenkot’s military career, Israel President Isaac Herzog noted that he had “dedicated his whole life to Israel’s security, the IDF and the country, and he and his family are now paying an unbearable price.”
“Gal was educated since his childhood on love for the nation and the homeland and acted in this spirit all the time, including when he was killed,” Herzog added.
“Along with the entire nation, I embrace the bereaved Israeli families, whose sacrifice is heavy and unbearably tough, and pledge: We will continue to guard our people and beloved country, for them and ourselves,” the President said.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid also spoke glowingly about the military careers of Gadi Eisenkot and Gal Meir Eisenkot. He shared a picture showing Gadi and Gal Eisenkot, in uniform. hugging each other when the former was chief of staff and the latter was a conscripted soldier.
“The two of them answer the call, show up when they are needed, do what they need to do. The fate of an entire country in one embrace,” Lapid posted on X. (ANI)