Daily Israel Report

IDF to Decorate Soldiers for Bravery, Courage as Operation Ends

Senior officers say a large-scale project launched to determine who will be decorated; Lt. Eitan, Shayetet 13 likely among them.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 8/6/2014, 10:34 PM

IDF in Gaza
IDF in Gaza
Flash 90

The IDF has already launched a large-scale project in all divisions, a senior officer announced Wednesday, to determine which soldiers deserve medals or other decoration for their roles in Operation Protective Edge.

At this stage, the officer said, soldiers involved in a select handful of incidents may already be likely to receive decoration. One of them includes last week's battle with Hamas in Rafah, which saw one brave soldier run after terrorists in pursuit of presumed-abducted Lt. Hadar Goldin (hy"d). 

"It seems that the incident in which Lt. Eitan, the deputy commander of Givati, is a historic act which prevented Hamas from changing the face of the operation and implementing a strategic weapons [against us],' the officer, a member of the Gaza Division, told Walla! News Wednesday. 

According to the officer, Lt. Eitan is likely to be rewarded for "his life-risking determination to prevent [damage to] the State of Israel and a chain of complex events in the future, as in the case of [the 2011] Gilad Shalit [abduction]."

"This is an extraordinary event, like nothing we've seen in the operation and like nothing we've seen in the past several years," he added. 

Navy officers suggested that the July 13, 2014 Shayetet 13 strike on a Hamas compound on a Gaza beach, which saw three Hamas terrorists killed and a number of rocket launchers destroyed - shows "courage and boldness," and may warrant medals for bravery.

A fierce gun battle ensued and four soldiers suffered light injuries from raiding the compound, from which long-range rockets were being fired at Israeli civilians. 

A third group of officers, this time from the Southern Command, recommended that members of the Golani Brigade be commended for their roles in the operation, as the Brigade played a central role in much of the ground offensive against Hamas terrorists.