Israel Today Visits IDF Officer Wounded in Gaza

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 |  Ariel Rudolph

Lieutenant I. a unit commander in Israel’s Paratrooper Brigade was wounded together with four of his soldiers yesterday (Monday) in the southern Gaza Strip.

During Monday’s fierce battles across Gaza, two Israeli soldiers were reported killed and at least 75 were wounded. Another seven soldiers were killed while repelling squads of Hamas gunmen that tunneled into southern Israel.

Lt. I.’s unit was ambushed and he was the first to take a bullet “as all hell broke loose around us. We were attacked by about 12–15 terrorists and the battle was tough, but we managed to eliminate 12 terrorists by the time it was over,” he said, adding that “it felt like forever to be extricated from the scene due to the circumstances. First by tank then armored personnel carrier and eventually airlifted by helicopter to hospital.”

While Lt. I. was still lying in triage in the ER, Beilinson Hospital Director Dr. Eyran Halpern updated the young commander on the condition of one of his soldiers who had been seriously wounded.

According to Dr. Halpern, “Your soldier arrived in poor condition and he was almost clinically dead on arrival. He was suffering from one gunshot wound to the right upper chest and two to his abdomen. We managed to stem the bleeding and stabilize his condition. He is still serious, but stable at the moment.”

Lt. I. talked about how tense the atmosphere was in Gaza and how difficult it was to engage terrorists in such close urban quarters. “At times it was almost hand-to-hand combat,” he said.

He also noted that “during our time in the Gaza Strip we uncovered many tunnel shafts and an unbelievable amount of weapons.”

Typical of any Israeli infantry officer, Lt. I. was concerned about the condition of his fellow soldiers with him in the hospital, as well as those still out on the battlefield “while I lie here on a bed and in air-conditioning.”

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