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Israel soldiers have lost motivation to fight in Gaza, families say

February 22, 2024 at 1:50 pm

Israeli soldiers, tanks, howitzers and armored vehicles are seen as Israeli military mobility continues on the Gaza border, in Nahal Oz, Israel on December 13, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

Families of Israeli soldiers fighting in the Maglan Unit in the besieged Gaza Strip have sent a joint letter to the army command saying their children are “frustrated and have lost motivation to fight” given the operational reality that has turned them into easy targets for Palestinian fighters, like “ducks on a shooting range”, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported yesterday.

The letter was sent to Lieutenant Colonel Dan Goldfus, commander of the 98th Division; to which the unit is affiliated, and a number of army commanders, including Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi.

In the letter, the soldiers’ families expressed grave “concern” for the safety of their children, saying they were “in clear and direct danger due to the new operational reality,”, warning that the soldiers have lost their edge and motivation to fight because they stay “motionless most of the time, just like ducks on a shooting range”.

According to the families, since entering the Gaza Strip, the soldiers have expressed “difficult feelings of loss of confidence in managing time and tasks, a sense of insecurity, and great operational frustration.” The soldiers “spend days waiting to receive information and understand whether there is a future plan.”

“The [soldiers] are experiencing difficult feelings of helplessness, ambiguity, and frustration, which has intensified after the recent events which unfortunately included deaths and injuries among the unit’s fighters,” the letter added.

“The soldiers have been at the forefront of fierce fighting for an unimaginable period, and they feel exhausted. Therefore, they are demanding time for recovery and treatment to prevent the greatest possible amount of physical and psychological injuries,” the families added.

The Maglan Unit specialises in destroying specific targets deep in the battlefield. According to the Israeli army data, since the beginning of the Israeli ground assault on Gaza on 27 October, 573 soldiers have been killed and 2,918 others have been wounded during battles with Palestinian fighters.

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