Israeli Soldier Killed by Anti-Tank Rocket Near Gaza Border Identified as 21-Year-Old, One Month From Discharge

Israeli soldiers check artillery shells in a field in Israel near the border with Gaza, in southern Israel, May 12, 2021. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

The Israeli soldier killed by an anti-tank rocket near the Gaza border on Wednesday has been identified as Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, 21, of the 931st Battalion of the Nahal Brigade.

Two other soldiers were wounded in the attack.

Walla reports that Tabib, from the town of Elyakim, was only a month away from being discharged from his mandatory army service.

He leaves behind him his parents Tali and Amir, and a younger brother of high school age.

Residents of the Elyakim described him as friendly, open, with a good sense of humor and a strong sense of volunteerism, as well as a dedicated soccer fan.

The head of the local council said that it was “a very sad day. This is a terrible tragedy for the Tabib family, the town of Elyakim, and the Megiddo Regional Council.”

He noted that Elyakim has lost three of its residents in the last five years.

IDF Spokesman Hidai Zilberman described the incident to Walla, saying Tabib was present near the border as part of a wider deployment intended to protect local communities.

Tabib entered the area of the moshav of Netiv HaAsara in a jeep, and was exposed to anti-tank fire in an open area.

“He was hit as part of a security mission,” said Zilberman.

Zilberman added that, following the attack, Gaza terrorists fired mortars at the area to prevent emergency services from coming to the soldiers’ aid.

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Author: Benjamin Kerstein

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