Daily Israel Report

Emotional Hospital Visit to Wounded IDF Officer

Badly injured soldier Ahiya Klein receives a visit from Maj. Ziv Shilon, wounded in another Gaza op.: 'We finished the work you started'.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 11/5/2013, 12:58 PM

Ziv Shilon salutes
Ziv Shilon salutes
IDF Spokesman's Unit

Lieutenant Ahiya Klein, who was badly wounded in Thursday's IDF action against terrorist activities in Gaza, received a surprise hospital visit yesterday from another survivor of Gaza violence. 

Major Ziv Shilon, a company commander in the Givati brigade, lost his arm in an explosion on the Gaza-Israel border in 2012. Shilon visited Klein today in the hospital, bringing with him a package of chocolates and words of warmth and encouragement. 

"Ziv Shilon is coming here," Klein's father, Yechezkel, assured the wounded soldier. Klein immediately responded: "We were injured in the same place." 

Shilon first addressed Klein's parents, Nira and Yechezkel. After offering a few lines of encouragement and strength, the Major then approached Klein's bed to converse with him. "I brought you chocolate," Shilon said, with a smile. "You should get better as quickly as possible before they get spoiled."

Klein told Shilon about the circumstances of his injury. "We finished the work that you started," Klein said. After the visit, Shilon stated that he left to give Klein "some rest" and promised to return and have another conversation "from scratch" once the wounded Lieutenant recovered. 

On his way out, Shilon promised Klein's parents that they would be in touch, and left with an embrace. "I hope that Ahiya will be okay," Shilon said, "And I think he will be. He is mentally strong, and I request that all Israel pray for his recovery."

Yechezkel and Nira Klein were in better spirits yesterday (Monday). So far, tests have revealed that head injuries had left their son only able to distinguish light and dark. "When will he be able to see again?" family members asked. 

Klein's mother has chosen to be more cautious about Ahiya's chances of recovery. "His eye injuries are very complex," Nira said. "Ahiya will have to undergo another surgery before we can confirm his condition. We currently have a sense of cautious optimism, but these are the very early stages." 

Since his return to consciousness Sunday, Klein recounted his experience during those difficult minutes after his injury to his family.

He told us how after the explosion, he continued to command his unit, and made sure that everyone took their weapons and finished the task they were given," said Klein's father Yechezkel. 

"We are praying for Ahiya's speedy recovery, and not only us - the nation of Israel has been showering us with good wishes," Nira concluded.