The late Habaka
The late HabakaIDF spokesperson

The commander of the 188th Armored Brigade's 53rd Battalion, the late Lt. Col. Salman Habaka, fell on Wednesday night during a battle with Hamas terrorists in northern Gaza.

Soldiers of the 13th Battalion of the Golani Brigade fought hard against terrorist squads in northern Gaza, as dozens of terrorists fired anti-tank missiles, threw explosives, and attacked the force.

The late Lt. Col. Habaka was a friend of the 13th Battalion commander, Lt. Col. Tomer, and fought hard battles with him. That night, after fighting bravely and completing the combat with the 13th Battalion soldiers, the late 53rd Battalion commander fell in battle.

Thousands came to the village of Yanuh-Jat and accompanied Lt. Col. Salman Habaka on his last journey. "A deep mourning fell on the country and the Druze community with the fall of Salman, who led forces of soldiers to save civilians and soldiers," the head of the Druze community, Sheikh Muafek, eulogized. "Salman's battle legacy was written on the first day of the fighting, as a commander who believed he was on the right path. Salman, as always, moved first and led the tank convoy."

"The heads of the State and the government must bow today before Salman, before his friends and before the thousands of Druze soldiers who were called to fight the war," he continued. "It is their duty to wake up from their coma. Apologize to the people and bring about real, substantial, and tangible change. We are partners not only in war but also in the times of peace that we all wish for."

"You stood for a noble cause. You went to save lives," another officer with the rank of Brigadier General eulogized on behalf of the IDF. "You stood up to an enemy who wanted genocide. The people of Be'eri, the residents of the Gaza region, and the State of Israel all thank you for the resourcefulness and bravery you demonstrated in fighting. As in that case, you led your soldiers deep into enemy territory."

"You led your unit to impressive achievements. That's exactly who you are, our beloved brother Salman - sharp as a razor and brave as a lion. That's also what you did that day. You came to the aid of a force in need. It didn't take much. One call: 'We need assistance' - and you immediately showed up."

Minister Gideon Sa'ar, representing the government, commented: "How our heroes have fallen. I came to pay my respects to one of the great heroes of the Israel Defense Forces, of the State of Israel - a brave military commander who thinks differently and outside the box. Many Israeli citizens owe their lives to Salman Habaka. Even in the battle in which he fell, Salman showed bravery. He fell in a complex battle against dozens of terrorists. In the battle in which he fell, he again showed personal bravery."

"Our enemy has joined forces against us. But Israel will also emerge from this campaign with the upper hand, thanks to our soldiers and commanders, thanks to our unity. The IDF has many achievements, but unfortunately we are also paying a heavy price in loss of life. Lieutenant Colonel Salman Habaka, I salute you."