The death of 32-year-old Lieutenant Bar Rahav, son of Israeli War Cabinet Minister Aryeh Rahav, in a battle against the Hamas militant group in Gaza, has shocked Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has confirmed the death of the soldier, who was part of a reserve infantry unit.
The reserve infantry unit had entered Gaza in an attempt to locate and demolish a tunnel dug by militants, when they came under fire and Rahav was killed in the battle. The IDF released a statement paying tribute to Rahav, saying: “The IDF mourns the loss of Lieutenant Bar Rahav, who fell in defense of his people and country during a mission tonight in the Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli War Cabinet is headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Rahav’s father is a minister in the same Cabinet. Netenyahu expressed his sadness at the news on Twitter, writing: “Tonight we lost Lt. Bar Rahav, son of my friend and colleague War Cabinet Minister Aryeh Rahav. We embrace his family at this time of grief and sorrow. Bar was an officer in the IDF who fell in the line of duty. He was a brave soldier who sacrificed his life for Israel.”
It is not yet known how many other soldiers from Rahav’s unit were injured in the battle, or how many militants were killed. The IDF has stated that they are still in the process of gathering information about the incident and assessing the situation.
This tragic death is just the latest in a series of losses for the Israeli Defense Forces in their ongoing battles with militants in Gaza. In the past month, the IDF has lost 16 soldiers in their efforts to stop the Hamas terror group from launching attacks on Israeli civilians.