Tel Aviv, November 2: A 20-year-old Indian-origin soldier was among the *17 Israeli soldiers killed fighting in Gaza*, according to the mayor of the town in southern Israel where the deceased had resided.
Mayor Benny Bitton took to Facebook to express his condolences on the death of Staff-Sgt. Halel Solomon, a person of Indian-origin.
“It is with great sorrow and grief that we announce the death of a son of Dimona, Halel Solomon, in the battle in Gaza,” Bitton wrote on Facebook.
“Halel aspired to do a meaningful service and enlisted in the Givati Brigade. Halel was a devoted son and had respect for his parents always in his eyes. Possessing immense good qualities, he believed in endless giving, modesty, and humility. The whole city of Dimona is grieving his passing,” the mayor said in a Facebook post.
He wrote further, “We share in the grief of parents Ronit and Mordechai and the sisters: Yasmin, Hila, Vared and Shaked. Halel Solomon studied at Alfasi and Amiasaf school. He went up to the Zinman division and studied at KMG High School. Hillel aspired to be a warrior and to do significant service and enlisted in Givat.”
The names of the dead soldiers were announced on Wednesday, after families had been informed. On Thursday morning, the death of a 17th serviceman was announced, according to the Times of Israel.
The soldiers were killed during the ground invasion in Gaza since Tuesday as Israel forces press deeper into the enclave, attacking dozens of targets affiliated with its Hamas terror group, The New York Times reported citing the Israeli military.
The deaths, mostly of infantry soldiers, were the first casualties inside Gaza publicly confirmed by Israel’s military since it launched a ground invasion on Friday.
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed to press on with the ground offensive in Gaza. “We are in a difficult war. It will also be a long war. We have important achievements, but also painful losses,” Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office on Wednesday evening.
In Israel, the soldiers’ names and faces were plastered on the home pages of most news websites. Others were read out live on Israeli television when the military announced their deaths on Wednesday, as per the New York Times.
The Israeli military said it has struck more than 11,000 targets in the Gaza Strip since the attacks by Hamas on October 7, which killed over 1400 Israeli people and took over 200 hostages.–(ANI)