Photo Credit: IDF

(JNS) New details about the Israel Defense Forces’ covert operation inside the Gaza Strip on Sunday reveal that the officer killed during the mission made a heroic decision that saved his fellow soldiers, even though it cost him his life.

Lt. Col. M., a special-forces officer, was killed, and ‎another soldier was wounded during a clash ‎with Hamas operatives in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday. Seven Hamas operatives were ‎killed in the incident.‎

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Many of the details were not approved for publication due to the sensitive nature of the mission, but according to available details, IDF special forces ‎‎operating in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis ‎were discovered by Hamas operatives at a checkpoint. A fierce ‎gunfight erupted, and the Israeli troops found themselves trapped in their vehicle.

Lt. Col. M. reportedly opened fire to draw attention away from his comrades, enabling them to leave their vehicle and charge the enemy.

As a result, Lt. Col. M. was hit by much of the enemy fire.

Another officer made a charge towards Lt. Col. M.’s position to try to save him, and after managing to kill three terrorists who had opened fire at the squad, reached his vehicle, but was badly wounded in the process.

According to the new details, the officer’s action enabled the team to radio for aerial assistance, which arrived within minutes. He and the wounded officer were evacuated under heavy air-force cover, which forced the Hamas gunmen to retreat.

Lt. Col. M. was laid to rest on Monday afternoon.

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