Photos of slain Israeli soldiers appear in Germany’s largest daily paper

BERLIN (JTA) — Germany’s most widely read daily newspaper, Bild Zeitung, published the faces of the 64 Israeli soldiers killed in the current conflict in Gaza.

Together with short biographies of a few soldiers, the images appeared in the Monday edition of the paper under the headline “Israel’s War Against the Hamas Terrorists: Faces of the fallen.”

Among those profiled are Benaya Sarel, 26, who was about to marry; newlywed Liran Adir, 31; Eitan Barak, 20, the first Israeli soldier to die in Operation Protective Edge; and Matan Gotlib, 21, an avid mountain climber who was about to finish his three years of military service.

Gotlib’s brother Omer, 31, told Bild that Matan was planning to travel the world, as many young Israelis do after completing their service.

“Do you know any big brothers who look up to their little brothers? I admired you,” he said.

The report, by Anne-Christine Merholz, describes the soldiers as “64 sons, friends, husbands who will never return to their families. They died for their homeland, fighting Hamas in Gaza.”

Bild, which has a circulation of at least 3.5 million, is published by the Axel-Springer company, which has a strongly pro-Israel editorial stand. Its articles of association, which date back to 1967 and were most recently updated in 2001, include a commitment to promote reconciliation between Jews and non-Jews in Germany and to support Israel’s right to exist.

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