January 23, 2024: IDF: IDF Chief of the General Staff on the 21 soldiers killed in action: “They fell during a mission whose aim was to enable the safe return of the residents of southern Israel to their homes. We grieve this loss; we will learn the necessary lessons.”

Earlier today (Tuesday), the Chief of the General Staff, LTG Herzi Halevi, conducted a preliminary examination at the location in the Gaza Strip where 21 IDF soldiers were killed in action yesterday.

Statement by Chief of the General Staff: https://bit.ly/47RRby1

Video of the Chief of the General Staff and additional IDF commanders at the location: https://bit.ly/48JBUAS

Related photos:

Below is the full written statement by the Chief of the General Staff:

“This morning, the State of Israel woke up to a difficult and painful announcement: 21 casualties. The finest of this country’s sons, who volunteered to defend our home and paid the ultimate price. We share in the sorrow of their families for the heavy loss and know that the pain is unbearable.

If this provides any consolation, I want the families to know – they fell in battle near the border fence during a defensive operation in the area separating the Israeli communities from Gaza. The sole purpose of this mission is to create the security conditions for the safe return of the residents of the Gaza Strip to their homes. For this purpose, we went to war, a war that began with a cruel attempt to end lives, and we are more determined than ever to restore life here.

I have just returned from the location where the soldiers fell and met with the commanders. I heard preliminary insights and initial lessons. We, as always, will thoroughly investigate the event and learn the lessons, even during combat, so that such an event is not repeated.

Today, we mourn the loss of 21 soldiers – all of them reservists deserving immense respect and appreciation from the entire state – for volunteering, for their determination, and for their infinite readiness [to serve]. They began their service together in the Givati Brigade and continued in the reserves. They come from all parts of Israeli society and from across the State of Israel – they are a role model and an example for us all. None are dearer to us than them. We bow our heads but stand tall in the face of the continued fight and the defense of our home. We are still fighting.

​​The war will be long, and many challenges await us. We are refreshing the forces and changing combat methods, knowing that we will again call upon the reservists after they have rested. We are attentive to all the reservists, embracing and appreciating them all. Given the overall mission, we remain focused – for the security of the civilians of the State of Israel.

On this difficult day, it is important to mention that we have been fighting for 108 consecutive days and are not forgetting October 7th, not forgetting why we went to war. Throughout the past day, we have been expanding our operations in Khan Yunis, accumulating additional successes, and simultaneously continuing to fight in the northern Gaza Strip and deepening our achievements. We are eliminating and striking many terrorists and commanders – Hamas murderers against whom we will continue to operate with great determination.

On this day, we feel the great and painful cost of war, but that which we are fighting is necessary and justified. We will continue to fight for our clear right to live here securely.”

Scroll to Top