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Jun 15, 2002 | 5th of Tammuz, 5762 | ה׳ בתמוז תשס״ב
June 15, 2002 – St.-Sgt. Alexei Gladkov, 20, of Be’er Sheva was one of two soldiers killed in a confrontation with terrorists near Alei Sinai and Dugit in the northern Gaza Strip.
The firefight took place at around 8 P.M. Saturday evening. Several hours earlier their deaths, the Givati unit succeeded in thwarting a large-scale terrorist attack, when they spotted a car rigged with 180 kilograms of explosives between Elei Sinai and Dugit in the northern Gaza Strip and blew it up. IDF troops combed the area in a search for additional explosive devices. One of the patrols ran into a Palestinian ambush and in the initial burst of fire, two soldiers from the Givati Brigade – St.-Sgt. Hezki Gutman and St.-Sgt. Alexei Gladkov – were killed. In the ensuing gunfight, Lt. Anatoly Krasik and three Givati soldiers were wounded. Anatoly succumbed to his injuries on June 22.
Alexei Gladkov immigrated to Israel with his mother Irena and sister Marina nine years ago from Russia after his father died. He graduated from the Boyer High School in Jerusalem in the class for gifted pupils, and then volunteered to serve in an elite IDF unit, “Orev”, in the Givati Brigade. His sister said, “This was a decision he took while he was in high school, and there was no way to sway him. We were proud of everything he did, and also of this decision.”
Alexei celebrated his 20th birthday just a week ago and was to begin an commander’s training course next week. His army friends describe him as a model soldier who volunteered for every task. He was also a good basketball player and swimmer.
St.-Sgt. Alexei Gladkov was buried in the military cemetery in Be’er Sheva. He is survived by his mother and sister.
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