Two IDF soldiers killed in exchange of fire with terrorists

Two soldiers also injured in clashes with terrorists near the border fence. IDF (Zahal) force entered the Strip after identifying Palestinians planting explosive devices near it. Soldier was killed by direct hit on a hand grenade he was carrying on his vest.

Date: 26/03/2010, 9:37 PM    

Earlier today, IDF (Zahal) officer Major Eliraz Peretz Deputy Commander of the Golani Brigade’s Battalion 12 and Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky were killed in the Southern Gaza Strip. Two other soldiers were wounded one moderately injured and one lightly injured in an exchange of fire with terrorists who were planting explosives along the security fence in the southern Gaza Strip.
The families of the soldiers have been informed of the incident. The injured soldiers have been evacuated to a hospital for further medical care.

After identifying the terrorists planting explosives, the force fired at them and identified killing two of the terrorists.
Southern Command Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant said on Friday that, “The soldiers advanced in a proper operational manner and when the terrorists were seen moving westward, tanks that were stationed undercover opened fire. One of the terrorists approached the forces point blank and opened fire. In the clashes, one of the bullets fired in the soldiers’ direction hit a hand grenade that was on Staff Sergeant Ilan Sviatkovsky’s vest, and as a result, the explosion killed him and injured two other soldiers. Another soldier was killed in another fire exchange in the area. In total, two soldiers were killed.”

Galant further added “These are events that take place every day. The soldiers’ activity is meant to protect the civilians of the nearby communities. Operations are carried out on both sides of the fence, by foot, with tanks, in covert and open activity.”

“Unfortunately, we paid a very hefty price this Shabbat eve and on the eve of the holiday. We support the families and express our deep sorrow over the incident. We will continue to work to enable all of the State of Israel’s citizens to celebrate the Seder fittingly.”

There is an ongoing daily effort by IDF (Zahal) soldiers to defend Israeli civilians. The IDF (Zahal) will not tolerate any attempt to harm the citizens of the State of Israel and will continue to operate firmly against anyone who uses terror against it. The IDF (Zahal) holds Hamas as solely responsible for maintaining peace and quiet in the Gaza Strip.