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Pride mixes with fear for Israeli soldiers near Gaza


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Pride mixes with fear for Israeli soldiers near Gaza

By Caroline Taix
Sderot, Israel (AFP) Nov 6, 2023
Israeli soldiers who have taken up positions near the Gaza border told AFP they felt proud to protect their country after Hamas's October 7 attacks -- but also nervous as war intensifies.

Now stationed in evacuated communities near the border with the bombarded Gaza Strip, a 20-year-old soldier said he was "a bit scared to go" into the Palestinian territory if given the order.

"You don't know if you can come back alive," said the soldier, whose name like those of other soldiers cannot be published because of military censorship.

Many of the soldiers stationed there, on the rear lines of the Israeli army around Gaza, are aged between 18 and 21, doing their compulsory military service.

The sounds of war can be heard loud and clear from their positions less than two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the Gaza border.

According to Israeli officials, Hamas's attacks killed more than 1,400 people, most of them civilians. The militants also took some 240 people hostage, authorities say.

Israel has responded with a relentless bombardment and has moved its forces into the Gaza Strip with the aim of destroying Hamas, the Palestinian militant group ruling the Gaza Strip.

More than 10,000 Palestinians in Gaza, also mainly civilians, have been killed during the campaign, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

"We do what we have to do. But it's a terrible place to go into," said the 20-year-old soldier, anticipating a possible order to deploy into Gaza even.

He started his three-year service a mere six months ago.

Since the beginning of Israel's ground operation in Gaza on October 27, at least 30 soldiers have been killed in the Palestinian territory, the army says.

Hamas has warned Israel that its soldiers will leave Gaza "in black bags".

- 'Don't want her to worry' -

Near another empty kibbutz now serving as a military base, a 21-year-old female said she had lied to her mother about where she was going.

"I told her I was in the centre of the country, not near Gaza," she said. "I don't want her to worry."

"I'm proud to be a soldier," said a 19-year-old male colleague, who started in the army eight months ago.

His parents, grandparents, sisters, an uncle and even the dog came from Tel Aviv to embrace him, their arms laden with food.

As they visited, a rocket fired from Gaza was intercepted overhead with a bang.

"Last time we saw him was five weeks ago," the mother said. "We don't know when we'll see him again."

"I'm proud of him but I'm afraid... I would be less worried if he was not here. But every place is dangerous right now."

"I hope he won't go to Gaza, but... if he doesn't do it, who will?" the mother asked rhetorically.

"If we don't have the army, we don't have Israel."

After an hour, the family has had to leave.

The mother squeezed her son in her arms, before the soldier left. "I cry all the time," she said once he was out of earshot.

Artificial Intelligence Analysis


This text looks at the experience of Israeli soldiers stationed near the Gaza border who are nervous about the war intensifying. It examines their feelings of pride and fear, as well as the risks involved in their mission. Current

State-of-the-Art and Limitations:

The soldiers are aged between 18 and 21, doing their compulsory military service. Israeli officials say that Hamas attacks have killed more than 1 400 people, most of them civilians, and Hamas has warned Israel that its soldiers will leave Gaza “in black bags”. What’s New in this Approach and Why it will Succeed:

This text looks at the experience of these soldiers and the risks involved in their mission. Target Audience and Impact if Successful:

The target audience for this text is people interested in learning about the experiences of Israeli soldiers stationed near the Gaza border. The impact if successful would be increased understanding of the situation.

Risks Involved:

The risks involved in this approach include the risk of soldiers being killed or taken hostage by Hamas militants. Cost of Pursuing this Approach:

The cost of pursuing this approach is difficult to estimate as it would depend on the resources required to research and write the text. Timeline for Achieving Results:

It is difficult to estimate a timeline for achieving results as it would depend on the resources available. Mid-term and Final

Success Metrics:

The mid-term and final success metrics for this approach would be an increase in understanding of the situation and the experience of Israeli soldiers stationed near the Gaza border.

Score for Ability to Interest DARPA: 7/10

This AI report is generated by a sophisticated prompt to a ChatGPT API. Our editors clean text for presentation, but preserve AI thought for our collective observation. Please comment and ask questions about AI use by Spacedaily. We appreciate your support and contribution to better trade news.

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