IDF Fatalities in Operation Protective Edge

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Staff Sgt. Eitan Barak, 20, of Herzliya, a combat soldier in the Nahal Brigade, was killed in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday, evidently by gunfire. Mortally wounded, he was taken to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where he was pronounced dead. Army officials are investigating whether he was killed by friendly fire.

Maj. (Res.) Amotz Greenberg, 45, born on Kibbutz Yotvata and a resident of Hod Hasharon, was the father of three children aged 15, 12 and seven. Trained as an attorney, he worked as an investigator in the Israel Securities Authority. “He was an amazing person, the salt of the earth, and this is the most painful thing that has ever happened to me,” said Yossi Keret, Greenberg’s closest friend. “He went voluntarily, out of a feeling of mission. When we sat in a pub on Thursday, I asked him why he was doing it if he didn’t have to. But he just wanted to. He said, “If my soldiers are there, I don’t want to stay here.”

Sgt. Adar Barsano, 20, from Nahariyeh, enlisted in the Armored Corps as a combat soldier two years ago. “He was a good boy,” said Bar Schaps, a childhood friend of Barsano. “He took care of his friends before himself. He cheered everyone around him and made them laugh.” Schaps added, “Adar told me there was nothing to worry about, that it would all be over soon and we would meet at my house. He was a hero and he died as a hero. His family is crushed — his mother and father, grandfather and grandmother, must bury a son and grandson. Our hearts are broken.”

Second Lieutenant Bar Rahav, 21, of Ramat Yishai, was killed on Saturday afternoon when he was struck by an anti-tank rocket fired at a Puma APC near the refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Mortally wounded, he was evacuated from the battlefield, but died of his wounds. Rahav is survived by his parents, Effi and Na’ama, and three siblings: his brothers Nir, 18, and Rotem, 11, and his sister Ron, 14.

A recent graduate of the officers’ course, Rahav was to have begun supplementary army studies. His uncle, Moran Binyamin, said that Rahav played water polo for Hapoel Kiryat Tivon. “Although he could have been an outstanding athlete, he chose combat service in the army,” he said. “We spoke on Thursday, and he said he was in good spirits. I was worried about him and asked whether he was protected, and he said he was all right. Then I realized that he had gone in. I was afraid for him because he always did whatever was required. I prayed that loss would not come to us. He was an amazing brother — a wonderful example for his siblings.”

Bnaya Rubel, Bar Rahav (Photo by IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

Sgt. Bnaya Rubel, 20, of Holon, was also gravely wounded on Saturday afternoon in an encounter with a terrorist who emerged from a tunnel in the central Gaza Strip.

Yesterday morning an officer and a soldier were killed and four other soldiers wounded when armed men infiltrated into Israeli territory near Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. The wounded soldiers — two of them moderately wounded and two lightly wounded — were evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva. Maj. (Res.) Amotz Greenberg, 45, of Hod Hasharon, and Sgt. Adar Barsano, 20, of Nahariya, were killed.

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