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July 25, 2014 11:00 am
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Battalion Commander to Soldiers Whose Platoon Leader Died: Fire Funeral Volleys at the Target

avatar by Deborah Danan

Cpt Dimitry Levitas who died by sniper fire in Gaza. Photo: Ynet.

“We will join all the people who are accompanying Dima on his final journey and shoot a barrage of honor and justice for this officer in the direction from where those bastards targeted his tank and took his life.” This was the eulogy of Lt. Neria Yeshurun, battalion commander in a tank brigade, for his direct subordinate, Cpt. Dmitry Levitas, who was killed by snipers in Gaza.

Levitas’ commanders and fellow soldiers could not be in attendance at the funeral as they were still fiercely engaging Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Yeshurun instructed the soldiers of the platoon that just lost its leader to listen in on the platoon’s radio network. The IDF spokesperson later allowed the recording, which had already been widely circulated, to be officially made public.

“Yesterday, in this very spot, we lost Dima,” Yeshurun told the soldiers. “Dima, who just recently started commanding this platoon, has nevertheless had enough time to show us all just what a dedicated officer he was, a fine soldier of the highest quality. In a short span of time since he took the reins of this platoon, he took over every responsibility for it upon himself. He was a leader in this operation we’re all a part of, a battle to rescue the residents of the Negev, and Israel in general. ”

The battalion commander then spoke of the Gaza situation and assured his soldiers that justice was on their side. “Look at the difference between us and them. While we are placed here, endangering our lives in order to protect the lives of the residents of the south from rocket fire, they sneak into mosques, clinics, hospitals and schools and shoot us from there. This shows the essence of the difference between us and them. Dima understood this extremely well and gave up his life in an honorable way that deserves praise and gratitude.”

“As I speak,” he continued, “Dima is being laid to rest in Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Our hearts yearn to be there but our heads tell us that we need to be here and continue. We didn’t come here for the fun of it. We have a mission of vital importance and we are extremely proud of all of you for taking part in it. I have faith that all of you will continue, despite the pain and the difficulty that accompanies every fighter. I’m proud of you and I have full faith in you. We should seek to engage the enemy – in memory of our Dima. May his memory be blessed. Amen.”

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