Family mourns Filipino IDF soldier killed in Gaza blast


The Philippine Embassy in Israel is reportedly working to assist the family of a Filipino Israel Defense Force (IDF) soldier slain in a massive explosion attack in Gaza.

What happened: Sgt. First Class Cydrick Garin, 23, and 20 other IDF soldiers were killed Monday after a Palestinian terror squad fired an anti-tank missile and hit a home beside a compound they were tasked to demolish in Al Moazi, 600 meters from the Israeli border. IDF spokesperson Adm. Daniel Hagari said the incident marked the “biggest daily death toll” in the IDF.

The attack detonated explosives the IDF soldiers had placed in the compound, causing two adjoined buildings to collapse. Most of the forces were still inside or near them, Hagari added.

About the soldier: Garin, who has lived most of his life in Israel, studied at the Bialik Ragozin school in Tel Aviv and joined the Givati Brigade after enlisting in the IDF. Garin was serving in the 8208th battalion of the 261st brigade before his death. In April 2021, the Southern Command awarded him for being an outstanding soldier.

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Garin's mother, Imelda, who hails from the Philippines' Isabela province but lived with him in Tel Aviv, mourned his death in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

"Son how could I bear all of this now that you’re gone," she wrote. "I’m gonna miss you so much. I love you son. I won’t forget you.”

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What authorities are saying: In a statement, the Israel Embassy in the Philippines said it is committed to support Garin’s loved ones, noting that Israel shares “the profound grief of Sgt. Garin's family and the Filipino community.” It is now facilitating Garin’s father’s travel to Israel from General Santos, South Cotabato province, where he is residing.

Latest death roll: Deaths in the Israel-Hamas war have climbed to at least 25,700 since it started on Oct. 7, 2023, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. Those injured have risen to 63,740.

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