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The Tel Aviv Museum of Art family is shocked and pained by the fall in battle of Capt. Yiftah Yavetz (23), an officer in the Maglan unit of the commando brigade, who fell in battle while charging at terrorists who infiltrated the Nahal Oz community near the Gaza Strip.

Yiftah, the son of Shira Yavetz-Appel, Director of External Relations and the Friends of the Museum, was an outstanding athlete who insisted on serving in a combat unit.

In a closed letter he left for his parents before embarking on a life-threatening operation, Yiftah wrote:

"A lot of thoughts are running through my mind about why we are, why now, why there. Tension in the air, and dark humor jokes about who will return and who will not. Lots of emphases. Work slowly, be alert, scan constantly. We know what we are coming for, the enemy knows the terrain and prepares surprises for us. Soon we will be standing in convocation areas, at a final briefing before leaving, knowing full well (me at least) that we are embarking on an operation from which not all of us will return. Despite that, I look back and sideways and I'm very confident in ourselves. We are sharp, we have prepared well, and we have already been in this region several times. I try to imagine the next few hours. To lead this thing, to be there first in the most complex part – that's exactly what you taught me to do. And when the thoughts wander a little, why are we and why now, that's what I'm thinking about, and suddenly the answer is very clear to me. Fighting for this country, leading this unit, is not supreme heroism – it is the standard. And if I had to re-sculpt my life, I wouldn't change a thing. Love you."

During these difficult times, the museum operates a special educational project in memory of Yiftah Yavets, which includes thousands of creative kits in his name, prepared by the staff of the museum's education department and sent daily during the war to children of the Gaza envelope who were evacuated from their homes.

We embrace our beloved Shira and the Yavets and Appel families and share in the heavy mourning of the families of those killed in the war.

May they rest in peace.

Capt. Yiftah Yavetz

Commando brigade
An officer in the Maglan unit
Was 23 when he fell