The Israeli Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz announced Monday awards for exceptional bravery and distinction made to servicemen and units who fought Hamas in Operation Defense Edge in the summer of 2013. They went to 40 serving and reserve officers, NCOs and soldiers, and 13 military units. Four of the recipients honored are women, and six won posthumous tributes.
The IDF’s highest award for excellence (Itur HaMofet) was granted to Lt. Eytan Fond, who led a search for the late Hadar Goldin, who had been abducted by Hamas and disappeared in one of its terror tunnels. Lt. Fond plunged into the tunnel armed only with a pistol and no body armor. He brought back materials that helped establish Goldin’s death.
The formal award ceremony will take place at the Palmachim air base on Feb. 2.