Family mourns Australian IDF soldier killed in Gaza

Australian-born Lior Sivan was serving as a tank commander when he was killed on December 19, leaving behind a heavily pregnant wife and two-year-old son.

Cpt. (res.) Lior Sivan. Photo: IDF
Cpt. (res.) Lior Sivan. Photo: IDF

According to reports, a dual Australian/Israeli citizen serving in the Israel Defence Forces has been killed in Gaza.

Lior Sivan, who was born in Melbourne to South American parents before his family moved to Israel, was serving as a tank commander when he was killed on December 19.

The 32-year-old reserve officer had been called up hours after October 7, according to ABC News, and had only left the Gaza Strip briefly a few times since then.

Sivan was awaiting leave to be with his heavily pregnant wife Liav. The couple also has a two-year-old son.

His father Dan Sivan said his son died in an ambush when someone hiding behind a building “launched something at him”.

“During the seven-day shiva mourning period, numerous soldiers came to share their condolences and told us how Lior had saved their lives,” Dan Sivan said.

“He was in one tank and another tank was alongside his and the tank’s driver told him that he could see that a Hamas terrorist was putting an explosive device on the tank next to theirs.

“Instead of trying to maneuver and shoot him from inside the tank, he didn’t think of his wife and his son. He was a hero. He opened the hatch and rose up to shoot him.

“He was killed immediately. But he saved the four men in the other tank and possibly the other three in his own tank.”

Sivan was buried in the military section of the cemetery in Beit Shemesh, the Central Israeli town where he lived.

“Just yesterday we spoke on the phone, we dreamed about trips abroad and the house and the baby girl that would come, and you said it hurts from missing us so much,” his wife Liav said at his funeral.

“In the recent months, you kept telling me that it’s no big deal, you aren’t doing anything dangerous and that the soldiers in tanks can’t even be harmed.

“I can’t imagine our lives without you. But I promise to do everything to be a family that still loves life and laughs.”

Captain Sivan was a mechanical engineer, who was known for his inventions.

He invented a chair for people with a disability that allowed them to be independent in water, and a charging cable to charge a mobile phone in a tank.

His brother, Gabriel, who is also a tank commander in Gaza, spoke to Lior a few hours before he was killed.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t warn you in that phone call, not that I could have known, maybe if I had spoken a little longer it would have changed the chain of events.”




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