Seven soldiers who fought in the Cast Lead counterterrorism operation in Gaza will get medals for their bravery, IDF officials announced Monday. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has approved the list of awards to be given.
Of the seven men scheduled to get awards, three are captains and one is a civilian member of the IDF reserves.
The awards were given based on criteria including: commitment to the mission, seeking to confront the enemy, unusual courage and bravery, exposing oneself to danger, taking the initiative, demonstrating calm in the face of danger, demonstrating leadership under fire, and setting a personal example for others.
Commanders of troops that fought in Cast Lead submitted their recommendations for awards based on what they witnessed in battle. The recommendations were forwarded to a committee, which investigated the candidates and submitted a final list to Ashkenazi.
Two soldiers will receive their awards from their Command head, three others will receive awards from their Division Commander, and two will receive awards from their Brigade Commander.
Cast Lead began in December of 2008, and concluded three weeks later in January 2009. The operation began after years of terrorist rocket and mortar shell attacks on Israeli communities near Gaza. It targeted Hamas terrorists and infrastructure in Gaza.