Thousands at funeral of Gal Eisenkot; ex-IDF chief: ‘We’ll care for country you loved dearly’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Minister Gadi Eisenkot eulogizes his son Gal at the latter's funeral on December 8, 2023. (Screen capture/Channel 12)
Minister Gadi Eisenkot eulogizes his son Gal at the latter's funeral on December 8, 2023. (Screen capture/Channel 12)

War cabinet minister and former IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot speaks at the funeral of his son Gal, who was killed yesterday fighting in Gaza.

Choking up throughout the entirety of the eulogy, Eisenkot recalls a conversation with his son from several years ago during which Gal said that he had really missed his father throughout his childhood during which the elder Eisenkot wasn’t around much due to his role in the IDF.

“I told you mom was there for you throughout all of those years and that I was very proud of the close relationships you had built with your mother and siblings,” Eisenkot says.

Eisenkot says Gal was proud of his family but also wanted to make his way in the army without relying on his father for advancement.

He conducted the tryout for a reconnaissance unit and advanced through the process without initially letting anyone know his last name.

Eisenkot says that when he met his son during last week’s truce, Gal expressed pride at having contributed to the conditions that helped to enable the release of over 100 hostages, particularly the young children.

Wrapping up his speech, the choked-up Eisenkot promises his son that the family will remain happy and united so that his sacrifice will not have been for nothing.

“We’ll take care of the country that you loved so dearly,” Eisenkot says.

“I salute you forever, and I pledge to you that we will do everything we can to be worthy of making the right decisions for those who fell for the country and for those who embrace us in this difficult time.”

Several high-level functionaries and politicians are among the thousands attending the Herzliya funeral, including President Isaac Herzog and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mourners line up to hug the Eisenkots, as Gadi shields his face with dark sunglasses.

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