A team of soldiers from Golani''s Battalion 12 entered the Strip around 2:40 p.m. after several men were spotted placing what seemed to be explosive devices near the Gaza border fence on Thursday night. The force was then attacked with mortar shells and gunfire from inside the Strip, as well as an explosive device that went off nearby. In the fire exchange that ensued, at least four Palestinians were killed and several others wounded. In the exchange of fire, a grenade in a soldier''s vest was hit by a Palestinian bullet and exploded. Maj. Eliraz Peretz and St.-Sgt. Ilan Sviatkovsky were killed.
Eliraz was one of six children in the Peretz family. He spent his childhood in Sharm el-Sheikh, in Sinai, where he learned to love the sea. The family was evacuated after the peace treaty with Egypt and moved to Givat Zeev. Eliraz completed his high school studies at the Himmelfarb School in Jerusalem, followed by an army preparation course before enlisting in Golani. The disengagement from Gaza found him in Gush Katif, from which he was evacuated in 2005.
In November 1998, the Peretz family of Givat Zeev lost their son Uriel in combat in Lebanon. Despite this, Eliraz enlisted in a combat unit, eventually becoming deputy commander of the Golani Brigade''s 12th battalion. Twelve years ago he eulogized his brother, saying, "Sometimes there is a price to pay for the right path. The price of life." Eliraz''s father died of cancer five years ago.
Eliraz met his wife Shlomit when she came to his family''s house to make a film about his brother Uriel. His mother Miriam said: "My sons are always at the front because officers go in front. He provided a personal example and he was alerted to give aid, so of course he was the first to do so. He didn''t go to die, but went so that I and the people of Israel could live well. My sons died for us all, so that we can walk proud. Eliraz had a gentle soul and a pure soul. He was righteous and pure and a mother could be proud to have such a son."
Maj. Eliraz Peretz was buried at the Mount Herzl military cemetery. He is survived by his wife Shlomit and four children - his son Or Hadash Uriel (6), and daughters Hallel Miriam (4), Shir Zion (2), and Gili Bat-Ami, a two-month-old baby girl, as well as his mother MIriam, brothers Avihai (24) and Elyasaf (23), and two sisters, Hadas (25) and Bat El (20).