Daily Israel Report

Wounded Golani Soldier Recovering

A Golani soldier who was critically wounded by Gaza terrorists on his birthday Friday has regained consciousness.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 3/28/2010, 3:42 PM / Last Update: 3/28/2010, 4:46 PM

Flash 90

Guy Elmakayas, who was critically wounded in a deadly clash with Gaza terrorists late Friday afternoon, has regained consciousness and his life is no longer threatened. He originally was reported to be in moderate condition, but his condition rapidly worsened after he was flown by helicopter to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.

Itzik Elmakayas, Guy's father, told Voice of Israel government radio Sunday that his son was celebrating his 20th birthday when he and his Golani unit came under fire from terrorists who were burying explosives at the Gaza security barrier.

“He is awake and clearly remembers what happened,” the father said. Doctors discovered that shrapnel had entered his liver and part of his heart where an operation was not feasible. “It is something he will have to live with," explained Itzik, adding that many Israelis attacked by terrorists live normal lives with shrapnel in their bodies.

He said that he received a phone at his home in Bat Yam, south of Tel Aviv, from a nurse in Soroka on Friday afternoon. She turned the phone over to Guy, who said, "I am wounded, but I think I am okay.” His condition then became critical and he lost consciousness. On Sunday morning, two days after his birthday, his condition reversed for the better.

Itzik said his son was standing next to Golani deputy battalion commander Maj. Eliraz Peretz, who was killed along with St.-Sgt. Ilan Sviatkovsky. Both fallen soldiers were buried Sunday.

A fourth soldier was lightly wounded.

The Golani unit fired tank shells at the terrorists and identified a direct hit. Shortly afterwards, an Israeli Air Force aircraft targeted a suspect nearby who was suspected of planting explosives. A direct hit was reported. Two other terrorists were also killed in yet a third incident around the same time and place.

Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant noted that the soldiers fought the way they are supposed to, endangering themselves to achieve the “goal of defending civilians."