Wife of Golani Brigade Commander Colonel Ghassan Elian, who was lightly wounded during the operation in Gaza, stated that she worries about her husband very much, but knows that he is brave. “My son asked me why he went to Gaza,” Shiran Elian stated. “I told him he needs to be an example.” His father: “The most important thing is that he is healthy.”

Golani Commander

Golani Commander Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson Unit

“He called at 8:00, stated that he was lightly injured and not to worry,” Shiran Eliad told Israel’s Channel 2 News.  Elian, who works as a Hebrew teacher in a school in her village of Shafram, told her 10-year-old son about what happened.  The couple has three children, age 10, 6, and 4.

“I am of course deep down inside worried about not only Ghassan but all of the soldiers and commanders. If he is not afraid, I am not afraid. He is brave. I saved my questions because I knew that it was not the time,” she added.

She stated that he told her he went inside Gaza but she knew inside that this is what happened: “My son responded in silence after I told him and then fifteen minutes later, he asked me why he went into Gaza. I told him he should lead by example for the commanders and soldiers. I just pray for peace for all.”

Ghassan’s father Nayef told Israel’s Channel 2 News that his son didn’t tell him how he was injured: “He told me that he was going back to where he should—to the army and his soldiers. I did not ask him how he was injured and what interests me is that he is healthy and will be back to normal. We hope that everyone will get back safely.” Earlier on, he was released from the hospital in Be’ersheva.

In October 2013, Elian made history, when IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz decided to appoint him as the commander of the Golani Brigade. He is the first Druze Israeli to hold this position.