Sergeant Ilan Cohen
Sergeant Ilan CohenIDF spokesperson

Sergeant Ilan Cohen of Carmiel, killed Wednesday night in northern Gaza, was a 20-year-old lone soldier who immigrated to Israel from Argentina.

Cohen arrived in Israel after completing high school in Argentina. At first, he studied in the Chabad-Lubavitch yeshiva in Migdal Ha'emek, but in December 2023 he switched to the Har Bracha Yeshiva, and from there enlisted into the Paratroopers Brigade, Battalion 202.

On Wednesday night, Cohen's family were informed of his death by the Israeli Ambassador to Argentina, Eyal Sela, and the Consul General Yehuda Golan.

Rabbi Eliyahu Hamara, rabbi of the AMIA community in Argentina, mourned, "We received, with great sorrow, the horrific news regarding the death of Ilan Cohen, a lone soldier from Argentina, who was killed while fighting in Gaza. We are supporting his family during this difficult time, and we send our condolences to his parents, David and Adriana."

The Cohen family is part of the Or Mizrach community, and the Megilat Achdut Yisrael community in Buenos Aires, Argentina. David and Adriana, Ilan's parents, are currently on their way to Israel, The family is being supported by the community's rabbis.

Cohen's friend Eitan Goldschmidt, mourned, "Horrible. A wonderful and moral boy - how he invested so much in order to immigrate to Israel, improve his Hebrew, learn in yeshiva, and serve in the IDF. Blessed be the true Judge. May G-d avenge his blood. What a loss."

Yehuda Fischer, a friend of Ilan's from yeshiva, said, "He was a sweet, sweet boy, Zionist and full of love. He was killed sanctifying G-d's Name and protecting the nation and the land in this war. He was a gentle soul, with a good heart, full of love and a Zionist, and now he is also supremely holy, and we owe him everything. In his merit - we are here."

His friends added, "What terrible news. Ilan, an immigrant from abroad who came to study in yeshiva for a short time and decided to enlist alone in the IDF in order to reach the place where he most wanted to be. What a person, what courage."

Another friend mourned: "It's unthinkable! Unthinkable! He always had a smile on his lips, he was so happy that he came here, to Israel. He's someone to admire."