An Australian IDF soldier was killed in Gaza and two brothers, one claimed as a Hezbollah terrorist, were killed in Lebanon.
Captain Lior Sivan has become the first Australian to be killed while fighting for Israel against Hamas inside Gaza.
The dual Australian/Israeli citizen was born in Melbourne before moving with his parents to Israel as a toddler. His parents, both of whom were born in South America, immigrated with their families to Australia as children, escaping oppressive regimes.
Sivan, 32, was serving as a tank commander when he was killed on December 19. He had been called up by the Israeli Defense Forces hours after the October 7 Hamas ground attack on southern Israel and had only left the Gaza Strip briefly a few times since then.
Sivan was awaiting his leave to be with his wife, Liav, who is due to give birth to their daughter next week. The couple also has a two-year-old son.
Two Australians were killed on the other side of the conflict last week, one of them a Hezbollah fighter, according to the terrorist organisation. Ali Bazza and his brother Ibrahim Bazzi were killed in an Israeli airstrike, together with Ibrahim’s wife, Shorouq Hammoud, a Lebanese citizen, claim Hezbollah.
The acting foreign minister, Mark Dreyfus, confirmed the two Australians had died in the strike in the al-Dawra neighbourhood of Bint Jbeil, and said the Australian government was seeking to establish the facts about the brothers’ affiliations.
“We are continuing to make inquiries but, I repeat, Hezbollah is a listed terrorist organisation under Australian law,” he said. “It is an offence for any Australian to cooperate with [or] to support, let alone to fight with, a listed terrorist organisation like Hezbollah.”
Photographs of the brothers’ funerals show the coffins draped in Hezbollah flags.