By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

FALLEN SOLDIER. Sergeant First Class Cydrick Garin with family. Garin was among the 21 IDF soldiers killed in an explosion on Jan. 22, 2024 near the Gaza-Israel border. (Photo courtesy of Josh Wolfe/X)

MANILA — A Filipino soldier of the Israel Defense Forces was killed in a massive explosion in Gaza on Jan. 22, the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines said Wednesday.

Sergeant First Class (Reserves) Cydrick Garin, 23, was a combat sergeant in the 8208th battalion of the 261st brigade.

Garin was slain together with 20 other soldiers during an attack that caused a Gaza compound being prepared for demolition to collapse upon them.

They were tasked to destroy structures allowing Hamas to observe and fire on Israeli forces.

A report by Israel’s Tazpit Press Service (TPS) said a Palestinian terror squad fired an anti-tank missile at the adjoining homes in the complex. 

Consequently, the explosives being used by the Israeli forces to demolish the compound detonated and the two buildings collapsed.

The compound was located in the area of Al Moazi, about 600 meters from the Israeli border.

“As far as we know, at around 4 p.m., an RPG was fired by terrorists at a tank securing the forces, and simultaneously, an explosion occurred at two two-story buildings. The buildings collapsed due to this explosion, while most of the forces were inside and near them,” said IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, as quoted by the TPS.

“Israel shares the profound grief of Sgt. Garin’s family and the Filipino community. Our commitment is strong to support his loved ones during this challenging time. May his soul rest in peace,” the Israel Embassy here said. 

The embassy is currently facilitating the travel of Garin’s father to Israel. 

Garin lived in Tel Aviv with his mother, Imelda Garin.

He was enlisted in the IDF and joined the Givati Brigade.

In April 2021, he received recognition from the Southern Command for being an outstanding soldier in the unit.  (PNA)