The 25-year-old son of Gadi Eizenkot, former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces and current member of Israel’s War Cabinet, was killed during fighting with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Thursday night.
Master Sgt. (res.) Gal Meir Eizenkot, a soldier in the 699th Battalion, “fell in battle in the north of the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.
A member of Benny Gantz’s National Unity Party, Minister-without-Portfolio Eizenkot, 63, joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s War Cabinet as an observer following Hamas’s Oct. 7 murderous assault on the Jewish state.
Before being elected to the Knesset last year, he served as the IDF chief of staff from 2015 to 2019 under consecutive Netanyahu governments.
Local media said that Eizenkot and Gantz, who also serves on the War Cabinet, watched the battle as it unfolded on Thursday as part of a situational assessment. Eizenkot was informed a few minutes later that his son was among the wounded.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Gantz sent his condolences: “Gadi, my brother in arms, my partner, my friend. Even in this terrible moment, I know that your strength and the strength of your family will remain in the face of this loss.”
“We will not stop, we will continue and complete the mission that Gal set out for, that our daughters and sons all set out for,” he concluded.
Netanyahu eulogized Gal Eizenkot as “a brave fighter and a true hero.”
“We send our condolences from the bottom of our hearts to your family and the families of all of our fallen heroes. The people surround you with love and gratitude—today and forever,” said the prime minister.
The IDF on Thursday night also announced the death of Sgt. Maj. (res.) Jonathan David Deitch, 34, of the 55th Brigade’s 6623rd Reconnaissance Battalion, from Harish. Deitch fell in battle in the southern Gaza Strip.
At least 89 soldiers have been killed in action in Gaza since the start of the IDF ground operation on Oct. 27; 416 Israeli soldiers have died since the war started on Oct. 7.