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A story about several of the young Israel soldiers who have died in this war, defending their land and their people, has been posted here: “We Will Remember Each Israeli Soldier; Their Story Continues Our Journey,” by Pini Dunner, Algemeiner, January 5, 2024:
On October 7th, 19-year-old Corporal Naama Boni was serving in the 77th Armored Corps Battalion of the IDF. It was 7:00 am, and she was standing guard at the entrance of the Zikim military base just north of Gaza, soon after it had come under intense rocket fire.
“Suddenly, out of nowhere, dozens of Hamas fighters arrived at the base, on motorcycles, trucks, and tractors, armed with high-caliber rifles and RPGs. Minutes earlier these terrorists had broken through the Gaza-Israel barrier and raced toward the base, intending to take it over and murder all the soldiers stationed there.
“Naama called for reinforcements and was quickly joined by three soldiers who rushed to the gate without their uniforms on, and also by a member of the 13th Battalion of the Golani Brigade who had been stationed at the rear of the base. In the fierce exchange of fire that followed, Naama was wounded, as was her Golani colleague, and they both sought cover.
“It was at this point that Naama messaged her family. “I care deeply for all of you,” she texted. “I have a head injury, and a terrorist nearby might start shooting at me. I am now with an injured soldier from the Golani Brigade, and no reinforcements are available.”
“Soon afterward, she texted again: “There is a terrorist here who won’t go away. I can hear someone screaming, and it looks like someone has been killed.” That was her last text. Naama’s body was discovered later that day, when the invading terrorists were all finally killed.
“Naama’s text messages — which went viral after being shared by her family a few days after she was killed — struck a chord in Israel and around the world, giving human depth and background to Naama’s photo and name that initially appeared in the media after her death was announced.
“Since then, dozens of other similar stories have emerged. On December 3rd, 22-year-old Major General [sic] Ben Zussman, entered a building in Gaza with his unit. Inside they encountered Hamas terrorists, who began firing their weapons. In the ensuing gun battle, Ben lost his life, along with four of his comrades. The following week, Ben’s parents revealed a letter he had written to them, to be opened only if he became a casualty of war.
“I am writing this message to you on the way to the base,” his letter began. “If you are reading this, something must have happened to me.” What followed was both poignant and heartbreaking. “As you know, there is probably no one happier than me right now. I had the privilege of fulfilling my dream and vocation and you can be sure that I am looking down on you and smiling. I will probably sit next to Grandpa.” Finally, he added that if “God forbid” his family had to sit shiva for him, “make sure it is a week of friends, family and fun.”…
This was Ben Zussman’s valediction, forbidding mourning.
Adi Leon, an IDF Staff Sergeant of 20, also left a letter for his family. They received it after he was killed in a gun battle on October 31st, the first day of the ground incursion into Gaza. “I go out to fight this war with the knowledge that I am not certain I will return, but I believe with a full heart in what I am doing. We do not have another land, and now it is my turn to protect it and to avenge all the civilians and soldiers, the children, the elderly, and all the women who were defenseless in the face of the onslaught by Hamas. This is the education that my parents gave me. In this I believe. I hope I will be remembered. Adi.”
The letter gained widespread attention and was quoted by President Isaac Herzog. That same week, Adi’s aunt shared his favorite chocolate cake recipe, and that went viral too; people everywhere are now baking Adi’s cherished cake, with some even sending them to soldiers on the front-lines as a tribute to his memory…
Naama Boni, Ben Zussman, and Adi Leon are three of the IDF soldiers who died defending their land and their people, in this, Israel’s latest war of self-defense against a satanic enemy. There have been more than 20,000 Israelis who, in the four wars of survival fought by the Jewish state in 1948, 1967, 1973, and 2023, and in the half-dozen campaigns waged against terrorists, gave willingly what Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion.” So far in this war, 170 Israeli soldiers have died in Gaza. More than 300 others were surprised by Hamas operatives and cut down in Israel on October 7. Many of those soldiers killed in Gaza have left behind words for those they left behind. I’d like to read them all.