‘All mothers have cause to worry,’ says mom of soldier wounded near Gaza

‘All mothers have cause to worry,’ says mom of soldier wounded near Gaza

After rushing from vacation to son’s hospital bedside, woman urges authorities to ‘put an end’ to sniper threat

Illustrative. Tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces land amid Palestinians during clashes along the border with Israel east of Gaza City on July 13, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)
Illustrative. Tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces land amid Palestinians during clashes along the border with Israel east of Gaza City on July 13, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mahmud Hams)

The mother of an IDF officer who was injured by sniper fire from the Gaza Strip said that “all mothers have cause to worry,” and called on authorities to “put an end” to the gunfire threat, which recently left one serviceman dead.

The woman was on a family vacation in the southern city of Eilat when she received the news that her son was wounded on the Gaza border. She immediately traveled to Beersheba in the northern Negev desert to visit him in the Soroka hospital.

“There was a miracle and everything is okay, thank God,” she told Hadashot TV news. “I wish that all the soldiers return safely and take care of themselves, because I see this isn’t ending.”

On Wednesday night, sniper fire from southern Gaza moderately wounded the officer near Kissufim. He was rushed to Soroka, where he underwent surgery for gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, according to a hospital spokesperson. His condition was initially described as serious, but improved after the surgery. On Thursday he regained consciousness and was taken out of the intensive care unit.

According to the IDF, the sniper fire came as a group of soldiers arrived at a part of the fence that saw a group of 20 minors rioting on the other side. The minors were used as a decoy by the sniper to fire on the soldiers.

The incident was followed by retaliatory strikes by IDF tanks and planes that targeted Hamas installations and left three members of the terror group dead.

“I was concerned, of course,” said the soldier’s mother, who like her son hasn’t been identified by name in media reports. “It seems like all mothers have cause to worry; there is chaos there that doesn’t stop for a moment.”

Hadashot quoted her as saying that IDF soldier Aviv Levi, who was shot dead by a Gaza sniper last Friday, was a friend of her son.

An undated photo of Sgt. Aviv Levi of the IDF’s Givati Brigade, who was killed by sniper fire from Gaza on July 20, 2018. (Courtesy)

“They were in the same platoon, and in that case it sadly ended differently,” she said. “This needs to end. Someone needs to put an end to it.

“I want to offer support to all the soldiers that are there [at the Gaza border] and all the mothers. This isn’t simple, not for us nor for them,” she concluded.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza named the three Palestinians killed in the IDF strikes as 28-year-old Ahmad al-Basous, 29-year-old Abada Farawna and 27-year-old Muhammed al-Ara’er.

Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, later said the three were its members.

“Israel will pay in blood for its latest crimes,” the group said in a Thursday morning statement.

Following the exchange of fire, nine rockets were launched early Thursday from Gaza toward Israeli towns, eight landing in uninhabited areas and one shot down by the Iron Dome system. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot seen during an emergency meeting at the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv, on July 20, 2018, following widespread Israeli strikes on Hamas targets across Gaza after a Palestinian sniper killed an Israeli soldier. (Ministry of Defense/Ariel Hermoni)

The IDF responded to the rocket fire, firing tank shells at seven Hamas posts along the border.

Late Wednesday, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman convened a meeting at army headquarters in Tel Aviv with IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman and National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat to discuss the rising tensions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was updated by the group by telephone, according to Army Radio.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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