Lieutenant Achiya Klein who had been wounded last Thursday during an IDF operation to blow up a terror tunnel on the Gaza border, regained consciousness today. Soroka Medical Center in Beer Sheva stated that Klein, hospitalized for the past four days, has begun to communicate with the people around him.
Wounded alongside four of his comrades, Lieutenant Klein sustained the greatest damage, an eye injury. His condition is still critical and he will require additional surgery. Klein’s doctors are cautiously optimistic about being able to save his eyesight.
In an interview with Tazpit News Agency, Achiya’s father Yechezkel said his son was improving. “Achiya is doing fine. We are optimistic about his eyesight; all his other injuries are minor.”
“The rest of the family is doing OK,” he added.
Klein, 22, the fifth of six children, from Kfar Eztion, was injured with four other members of the Samur Corp of Engineers elite unit, similar to the American Army’s Tunnel Rats. The force was hit near the Gaza security fence after a bomb went off on Thursday night, Oct. 31. They were on an operation to uncover additional sections of a terror tunnel that had been uncovered a month ago.
Yechezkel Klein described the prayer vigils being held for his son. “We’ve heard that people are praying and reciting Psalms for our son’s recovery all around the world. We’re very moved by these gestures and urge everyone to continue with their prayers. We truly believe they help.”
Achiya’s grandparents are Holocaust survivors and his grandfather is a former IDF soldier. Visiting at Achiya’s bedside, he told Achiya while shaking his hand: “You will be strong and overcome this like we have overcome in the past.”
Another visitor at the wounded soldiers’ bedside was IDF Chief of Staff Lieut. Gen. Benny Gantz, who expressed his gratitude to the soldiers for putting their lives in harm’s. “The soldiers were wounded, but the mission was completed,” Gantz stated.
Relating to the ongoing terror threat from Gaza, Lieut. Gen. Gantz said: “We will continue to operate in Gaza. The threat from the terror tunnels is significant, and we will continue to work in that regard as long as necessary. Months after Operation Pillar of Defense, the security situation is much better. Obviously, there still remain threats from the Gaza Strip and we will continue to deal with them.”
About the Author: Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.
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