By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
IDF officer, Lieutenant Achiya Klein, who was wounded last Thursday during an IDF operation to dismantle a terror tunnel on the Gaza border, regained consciousness today. Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba stated that Klein, who has been hospitalized for the past four days, has begun communicate with his surroundings.
Klein, wounded with another four soldiers, sustained the most serious wounds in the incident, incurring an eye injury. His state is still categorized as serious and he will require additional surgery in the future. Klein’s doctors have been quoted as expressing careful optimism about saving 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 eye sight; all the other injuries are insignificant.”
“The rest of the family is doing OK”, he added.
Klein, aged 22, the fifth of six children, from Kfar Eztion, was injured with four other members of the Samur Unit, an elite Engineering Corps unit, the equivalent of the American 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 parts of an underground terror tunnel that was uncovered a month ago.
Yechezkel spoke of the reports of prayers being held world-wide for the speedy recovery of his son. “We have heard that people have been praying and reciting Psalms for our son’s recovery all around the world. We are 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 an ex-IDF soldier himself. 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.”
“We have educated our children by the values of Zionism and contributing to the State of Israel. He did what he was tasked to do. We will contend with this reality and prevail” Achiya’s father concluded.
Another visitor to the recently wounded soldiers was IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who also expressed his gratitude to the soldiers who put their life in harm’s way to defend the citizens of Israel. “The soldiers were wounded, but the mission was completed,” Gantz stated.
Relating to the ongoing terror threat for Gaza 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.”