By Nathan Frandino

HERZLIYA, Israel (Reuters) – Israeli battle cupboard minister Gadi Eizenkot discovered of the loss of life of his son in Gaza fight whereas conferring about operational plans at army headquarters exterior the Palestinian enclave, his associate in authorities recalled on the funeral on Friday.

The expertise, fellow centrist minister Benny Gantz mentioned in a televised eulogy, introduced dwelling for them each the career-long data that “arrows on the map can develop into arrows within the hearts of beloved households”.

Gal Meir Eisenkot, 25, was amongst a whole bunch of 1000’s of army reservists mobilised for an Israeli offensive in response to an Oct 7 cross-border killing and kidnapping spree by Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s ruling Palestinian Islamist group.

A commando, he was killed on Thursday within the enclave’s north, the place Israeli forces are battling Hamas in a handful of holdout districts after over-running Gaza Metropolis final month.

Hamas mentioned he was killed by a bomb rigged to a guerrilla tunnel within the district of Tal al-Zaatar.

When Eisenkot was summoned by a casualty notification officer, he was in a operational planning room with Gantz.

“As that door – a door that grew to become a curse – opened, it was just like so many doorways that you’ve got opened up to now,” Gantz mentioned in remarks addressed to Eizenkot. Each are former squaddies who rose to command all of Israel’s army.

“I checked out you. Whenever you went out, I believed: ‘Nobody deserves this. Gal would not deserve this. Solely those that love the homeland, who’re raised to defend it and stand on the vanguard, are liable to fall in battle whereas defending its future.”

A former defence minister and the most well-liked political rival to conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gantz joined a broadened emergency authorities to assist handle the offensive. Underneath the deal, Eizenkot additionally joined the battle cupboard.

Amid mounting worldwide alarm on the civilian toll in Gaza, Israel has vowed to annihilate Hamas – an Iranian-backed group sworn to its destruction – and get well 137 hostages.

“Gal, I’m sure that we’ll press the offensive, the trouble to bolster the nation which you so cherished – so as that it’ll primarily be sturdy, cultivated and righteous,” Eizenkot, his voice choked with tears, mentioned over his son’s coffin.

Netanyahu was amongst dignitaries who attended the funeral in Herzliya, north of Tel Aviv. In a tribute to the Eizenkot household posted on social media, he mentioned: “Our heroes haven’t fallen for nought. We will proceed to combat till victory.”

(Writing by Dan Williams, Modifying by William Maclean)

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