Chief of Staff addresses Egoz unit
Chief of Staff addresses Egoz unit IDF Spokesperson

The Egoz special forces unit resumed training Tuesday after all activity was halted in response to a friendly fire incident in which two company commanders were killed last week.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi visited the unit in the Upper Galilee today and held a dialogue with the unit's commanders and soldiers about the deadly incident and the obligation to conduct professional and thorough investigation as a condition for progress.

The chief of staff told the soldiers: “Last week the unit experienced a very difficult incident in which we lost two excellent commanders. Losing a soldier as a lieutenant colonel and losing a soldier or officer as a chief of staff or commander-in-chief is the same thing, my heart was heavy that night just like your heart was. We must do everything we can to prevent such incidents and conduct a thorough investigation."

"The Egoz unit is a strong and professional unit, composed of quality and experienced people, I understand the difficult feelings and at the same time - you must take this difficult event and come out stronger, all of you together. Egoz was an excellent unit, and I trust that following this event you will be even more excellent," he said.

The commander of the Egoz unit, Lt. Col. A., added, "The unit like [its namesake] the walnut - is hard and tough on the outside and soft with a heart of gold on the inside. A unit with strong mental fortitude, whose soldiers and commanders are characterized by exceptional resilience and are capable of complex combat challenges. Despite the difficulty in losing commanders and close friends, we are returning to training and operational activities this week."

"The unit is saddened by the loss of two of its commanders, the best of the best, the late Major Ofek Aharon and the late Major Itamar Elharar. The entire IDF and the Egoz unit in particular share in the grief of the bereaved families, support them and will continue to accompany them. The Egoz unit will continue to lead complex and covert operational activities in the various sectors in order to ensure the security of Israel's residents in both routine and emergency situations," he concluded.

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