Twenty-year-old Sergeant First Class Eitan Barak from Herzliya was killed in Gaza on Friday morning; wrote on Whatsapp to his friend before entering.
Just before Sergeant First Class Eitan Barak, who was killed in the strip around 4 a.m., entered Gaza with his unit on Thursday night, he corresponded with a friend on the messaging service Whatsapp. The friend offered his support and Barak answered hopefully.
Here is a translation:
Friend: 11:20 Good luck my brother!
Friend:11:21 Love you!
Eitan Barak: 11:23 Love you too man
Friend: 11:24 You sure it’s what you think?
Eitan Barak: 11:24 99 percen
Friend: 11:25: wow
Eitan Barak 11:25 Order has been given
Friend: 11:25 Good luck do what you need to do you are number 1
Eitan Barak: 11:26 Yalla my brother in two minutes I’ll be without my phone
Eitan Barak: 11:26 hope to return whole and stick it to them
Friend: 11:27 There’s no one like you, again good luck.
Barak, from Herzliya was killed under still unclear circumstances and was promoted posthumously from sergeant on Friday.
IDF units seized positions in northern, central and southern Gaza, and traded fire with terror organizations overnight, following the launch of a ground offensive, a senior military source said Friday morning. One unit was the target of a failed bomb attack. The IDF expected armed clashes to increase after sunup.
“The units are at their designated place. We expect significant friction to begin after first light,” the military source said.
Seventeen armed Palestinian combatants have been killed since the ground operation began on Friday.
“We are focusing on three efforts. The first is continued air strikes. The second is the taking over of targets [by ground units]. The last is preparing the next stage of this operation,” the source said.
Ground forces are focusing on destroying Hamas’s extensive tunnel network. In their first few hours in Gaza, they were engaged by gunmen, and returned fire. In some cases, bombs were set off near the approaching military forces.
The source described the resistance encountered by the IDF as “low,” adding that the massive wave of fire launched by artillery and air strikes before the entrance of ground units helped ensure that Hamas “kept its head down.”
via The Jerusalem Post