28 February 1999

Commander of IDF Lebanon-Liaison Unit Killed, Warrant Officer, Soldier and Civilian Killed in Explosion

(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

An IDF commissioned officer, a warrant officer, an enlisted man and a civilian were killed this afternoon when an explosive charge was detonated near an IDF convoy, in the eastern sector of the security zone of southern Lebanon. Those killed are:

1. Brig. Gen. Erez Gerstein, commander of the IDF Lebanon Liaison Unit 38 years old, from Moshav Hayogev (north Israel).

2. Warrant Officer, Imad Abu-Rish, 34 years old, from Yirka (Druze village in Galilee).

3. Staff Sergeant, Omer EI-Kabetz, 22 years old, from Rehovot

4. Ilan Roeh, 32 years old, from Huqoq( kibbutz in Galilee), a reporter for "Kol Israel".

The families of the deceased have been notified. The IDF Spokesperson noted that the IDF decided to mobilize posthumously Ilan Roeh, the "Kol Israel" reporter who had been on a journalistic assignment with IDF forces in the security zone. After the explosion, soldiers in the force found a large number of additional explosive charges which had not exploded. During the incident mortar bombs were fired at two SLA outposts in the sector. IDF and SLA artillery returned fire. Hizbullah claimed responsibility for the incident.