A gung-ho Israeli soldier who was shot three times when his squad came under fire while trying to retake an area decimated by Hamas has vowed to get back on the frontline.
The unnamed soldier was part of an elite counter-terror unit which sprang into action in a bid to retake the kibbutz of Be’eri in southern Israel when it was targeted by the terror group.
The 22-year-old and his brothers in arms would walk into the aftermath of one of the worst massacres of the conflict in a rural farming community where the bodies of women and children lined the streets.
The soldier, who has asked go by the initial ‘D’, claimed he helped rescue a traumatised elderly couple moments before their house, set on fire by Hamas, collapsed.
He also revealed how he was eager to return to the frontline as soon as possible, despite being shot three times in the legs in an ambush by terrorists that claimed the life of his squad’s commander.
The Israeli soldier was shot three times as his unit tried to clear Hamas from a kibbutz where terrorists killed more than 100 people
The remains of a family home in Nir Oz kibbutz after it was attacked by Hamas. The soldier was wounded clearing Be’eri kibbutz to the north
The soldier said ‘hell yeah’ when talking to Sky News about his desire to rejoin the fight between Israel and Hamas as the country looks to take out the terror group following its devastating surprise assault on October 7.
The terrorist attacks have killed more than 1,400 in Israel, most of whom were civilians, and seen more than 200 people taken hostage.
After fierce fighting to retake areas struck by Hamas, multiple horrors have been revealed including massacres at a music festival and kibbutz’s in southern Israel, as well as reports of rape and beheadings.
Soldier D, who is a reservist, recalled how on the morning of the attack he rushed to collect his gear after the first reports of an assault came through.
After joining his fellow soldiers at a base they were told to move to Be’eri kibbutz, with commanders warning them they would see ‘harsh views’.
But none of the warnings would prepare them for the hellish scenes that greeted them – more than 130 people are known to have died in the town (more than 10 per cent of the population) with dozens of homes burned down.
‘I looked straight and could see burning buildings, destroyed buildings, a lot of dead corpses – most of them were children and women,’ said Soldier D.
As they moved into the town after 7pm soldiers were told to keep their eyes peeled for terrorists, as the area had not been cleared building by building and there were reports that some Hamas militants had donned Israeli clothing.
Amid the chaos, the man and his unit came across a burning building which had a local couple inside.
The pair, thought to be in their late 50s or early 60s, were in so much shock at the terrorist attack, they had not realised their house was on fire, Soldier D thought.
Instead of asking for help, all the woman could say was ‘I need water to drink’.
Seeing the ‘terrified’ couple, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) unit jumped into the building and carried the couple out with moments to spare.
An Israeli forensics officer searches for human remains in a burned home in the kibbutz of Be’eri
Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers walk along the road on patrol close to the town of Be’eri
A man prays in front of a home destroyed by Hamas in the kibbutz of Be’eri after the terrorist group’s attack
Blood stains and debris cover the floor of nursery targeted by Hamas in the town of Be’eri
Blood covers the floor of he home of the Sharabi family in Be’eri kibbutz. British-born mother Lianne and her 13-year-old daughter Yahel were killed in the attack. Her other daughter Noiya, 16, and her husband Eli, are still missing
Mother Lianne Sharabi and her 13-year-old daughter Yahel, described as ‘a bundle of unbridled energy and joy’, were murdered, while her 16-year-old daughter Noiya is feared to have been abducted in the attack on Be’eri kibbutz
He said: ‘When I heard some heavy cracking, I took [the man], put half of his body alone to the window.
‘My commanding officer took him and I took five or six steps backward, sprinted to the window and got outside safely. Almost fell on my face.
‘But that’s okay… Twenty seconds, 30 seconds, maybe 40, the building started collapsing inside.’
The unit managed to save seven civilians he said, before they were set upon by terrorists who were hiding in houses – it was an attack that saw his commanding officer killed and Soldier D escape with his life.
“I got three bullet holes – two in my left leg, in my calves. The third shot was on my right leg,” the soldier told Sky News.
I didn’t feel any pain [immediately]. I felt that my legs were really wet and I felt like my body weight and my plate armour and everything I had on was pushing me downwards.”
‘Instead of calling for help, the soldier ran to the aid of his colleagues, giving them tourniquets for their wounds, deciding to ‘sing and even laugh’ to keep his unit’s morale up.
It was only when he got into an ambulance that ‘the damage started talking’, leaving him ‘telling, touching everything’.
Since then he has been in a hospital in Tel Aviv where he has undergone surgery on his wounds and hopes to begin his recovery soon, having already attempted to stand up from his wheelchair.
It comes as Israel continues to lay the groundwork for an invasion of Gaza, with air strikes pounding the Palestinian territory every day.
Government officials have warned the Israeli people and the country’s allies to expect a ‘long war’ to ‘annihilate’ Hamas, with thousands of soldiers massing at the border.
The IDF has unleashed a barrage of strikes on the Gaza Strip that have killed more than 4,600 Palestinians, mainly civilians and 40 per cent of whom are children, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.
Israeli aircraft released leaflets as a warning for Gazans to move south or face death, with residents claiming they threatened that ‘whoever chooses not to evacuate would likely be designated as a member’ or ‘accomplice’ of a terrorist organisation.
Plumes of smoke billow over Gaza City on October 22 as the IDF continues to pound it with strikes
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned ‘the US and its proxy (Israel)’ to ‘immediately’ cease strikes on Gaza
An elderly woman clambers out of a window of a damaged building in Rafah, Gaza, amid Israeli air strikes
Some of the targets reported to have been hit by Israeli air strikes overnight (October 21-22)
There are fears the conflict could become even more intense, with Iran warning that things could ‘spiral out of control’ if they do not ‘immediately’ cease strikes, while Israel has warned it will target Tehran if its puppet Hezbollah militia escalate the conflict.
‘I warn the US and its proxy (Israel) that if they do not immediately stop the crime against humanity and genocide in Gaza, anything is possible at any moment and the region will go out of control,’ Iran’s foreign minister said today.
Israelis living near the country’s northern border with Lebanon have been evacuated from their homes as the Israel Defense Forces continue to exchange intense cross-border fire with Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah.
Mr Barkat told the Mail on Sunday: ‘The plan of Iran is to attack Israel on all fronts. If we find they intend to target Israel, we will not just retaliate to those fronts, but we will go to the head of the snake, which is Iran.’
He additionally threatened Iran’s Ayatollahs, saying they would be ‘wiped off the face of the earth’ should Hezbollah, their proxy terror group in Lebanon, attack Israel.
IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus has accused Hezbollah of a dangerous escalation, edging towards an all-out war.
‘[Hezbollah] is dragging Lebanon into a war that it will gain nothing from, but stands to lose a lot… Hezbollah is playing a very, very dangerous game. They’re escalating the situation. We see more and more attacks every day,’ he said.
In a direct threat to deter Tehran from intervening further, Nir Barkat, Israel’s Minister of Economy warned that not only would Israel ‘eliminate Hezbollah’, if it believes the terror group is opening up a ‘northern front’, but ‘we will actually target Iran.’