IDF Soldier Dies of Wounds From Gaza; Israeli Death Toll Rises to 73

Sgt. Shahar Shalev, 20 of Alonei Habashan died more than a month after he was wounded in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israel Defense Forces soldier Sgt. Shahar Shalev, 20 of Alonei Habashan, died Sunday of wounds sustained during battle in the Gaza Strip.

Shalev, a soldier in the Paratroopers' Brigade, was wounded during operation in the southern Strip on July 23. His death brings the Israeli death toll from the war to 73: Sixty-six soldiers and seven civilians.

Shalev was raised in the Golan Heights. He was a counselor at the Bnei Akiva youth movement. For four years, between ages 14-17 he studied at the Chitzim yeshiva in the West Bank settlement of Itamar. Before enlisting in the IDF he attended the religious pre-military program Arzei Halevanon.

Shalev joined the Paratroopers brigade some 18 months ago. He suffered serious wounds when an explosive device went, killing his commander and two of his friends: 2nd Lt. Paz Eliyahu, Staff-Sgt. Li Mat and Staff Sgt. Shahar Dauber.

Yiska Dekel, the spokeswoman of Moshav Alonei Habashan, said yesterday, “The community of Alonei Bashan bows its head in sorrow over the untimely death of one of its children, Shahar Shalev, who fought heroically for our country, was severely wounded early in Operation Protective Edge and fought for his life until he passed on. Shahar, who was born and raised on Alonei Habashan, has become the first member of our community to fall in Israel’s wars. May he be the last. We thank the nation of Israel, which joined us in prayer.”

Sgt. Shachar Shalev's funeral will begin Monday at 4:30 P.M with eulogies in the Aloni Habashan community followed by a procession to the cemetery in Hipsin, where his burial ceremony will commence at 5:30 P.M.

On Friday, 21-year-old Sergeant Netanel Maman died after being critically wounded by a rocket which exploded in Gan Yavne a week before.

Maman, who suffered a serious head wound caused by a rocket fragment, was hospitalized for a week before finally succumbing to his wounds. He had fought in Gaza during the operation, but was home on leave when he was wounded. Five other people – including his younger brother Tamir – were hurt in the incident, but were were treated and released. After suffering his wounds, Maman was placed in an induced coma, underwent surgery and placed on life support as physicians tried to stabilize him.

Sharon Ben David, a close relative of Maman, said that the siren had sounded when Maman was in his car, and that he had not managed to get out and take cover in time. “They went out to buy cigarettes after dinner, and the siren caught them at the Gan Yavne traffic light,” he said. “The rocket struck from the right, and Netanel did not get out in time. The shrapnel hit his head; the rest of his body was unharmed. When we asked everyone on our What's App group to check in, Netanel didn’t answer. A few moments later, we got a message from Tamir that they had been hit. This is a terrible trauma.”

Sgt. Maman’s funeral was held two days ago in Gan Yavne’s military cemetery.