WATCH: Israel Air Force Evacuates Soldier Wounded in Gaza Fighting

Gili Cohen
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Gili Cohen

The Israel Defense Forces released footage on Sunday depicting the evacuation of a soldier from the Gaza Strip after he was wounded during Operation Protective Edge.

Col. Ghassan Alian, the commander of the Golani infantry brigade, was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva after he was hit in the face by shrapnel from an RPG during the heavy fighting that took place in the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaiyeh, shortly after the IDF ground incursion began. After a few days of recuperation he returned to his unit.

A screenshot from the IDF video

"During the battle I took an RPG hit a few centimeters over my head, and there are a few scratches on my head," he described his wounds in July when he left the hospital. "I am going back with [the forward command center], and if necessary I will go in by foot - the important thing is to get there," he said.

Alian was wounded in an exchange of fire that took place in the neighborhood shortly after the incident in which seven IDF soldiers from the Golani Brigade were killed when an anti-tank missile fired by Palestinian militants hit the M-113 armored personnel carrier they were in.

As a result of the heavy fire that ensued throughout the duration of that day, an exemption was made and, in an attempt to push back the Palestinian fighters, it was decided to use massive artillery fire on the area very close to where the Golani soldiers were stationed. The troops received orders to enter their armored and protected vehicles, after which the neighborhood was hit by some 600 artillery shells, along with aerial bombardment from Israeli aircraft.

Golani troops entered Shujaiyeh on July 19, two days after the IDF started ground operations in Gaza.

Speaking with other field commanders from Golani during the fighting, Alian described the fighting in Shujaiyeh as some of the hardest he had seen.

A number of senior Golani officers were wounded during the battle: the commander of Battalion 12, Lt. Col. Shai Siman-Tov; commander of the Egoz commando unit, Lt. Col. Y., who last week returned to his unit; the commander of the brigade reconnaissance unit, Lt. Col. Roi Levy; and Alian. Two other key Golani officers were killed in Shujaiyeh - the deputy commander of the reconnaissance unit, Maj. Tzafrir Bar-Or; and Maj. Zvi Kaplan, the reconnaissance unit's operations officer.

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