Hundreds Attend Funeral of Israeli Soldier Killed by Gaza Anti-tank Missile

Early inquiry finds the jeep with Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib wasn’t on a road approved for army use by the Gaza border when it was hit by an antitank missile

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Funeral of Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, Wednesday
Funeral of Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, WednesdayCredit: Avishag Shaar Yeshuv
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Hundreds of people attended the funeral on Thursday of Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, 21, in the cemetery of his hometown, Moshav Elyakim. Tabib had been killed by an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip at his jeep. The incident happened near the border with the Gaza Strip.

Tabib was serving in Battalion 931 of the Nahal infantry brigade and would have completed his army service next month.

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wo other soldiers were wounded in the attack. One is in serious condition and one was only lightly injured. They were taken to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon for treatment.

Tabib was survived by his parents, Tali and Amir, and a brother in ninth grade.

Staff Sgt. Omer TabibCredit: Courtesy of the family

“Omer, my beautiful child, six years we waited for you and the patience paid off – we received a beautiful child with an eternal smile on his face,” said his mother. “I refuse to believe that instead of a blessing for your [finishing the army], I’m searching for words to summarize the period of your life. I’m sorry, but I don’t know how to do it. In my blackest dreams I never thought I’d reach this point. Omer, my beautiful child, give us the strength to know how to continue on.”

Ilan, Omer’s uncle, eulogized him: “It’s unimaginable to talk about your personality in the past tense. It is so sad that you won’t see what you should have. Joy in life humor were your nature … we were so happy to have a few more minutes with you.”

His aunt Shikma said: “Please give us the strength to learn to live without you. You will continue to part of the family forever. We will keep your love in our hearts forever.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the family on Wednesday: “In the name of all of Israel’s citizens, I want to express my deep sorrow and send my condolences to Tabib’s family and friends,” said the statement from his office. The premier also wished the soldiers wounded in the incident a speedy recovery. “We will continue to fight against the terrorists in Gaza. Whoever attacks us – has taken his life in his hands,” the statement continued.

The army described the fatal attack as a “not good” incident that should never have happened. A preliminary inquiry indicated that the jeep was on a road not approved for army use. In the course of preparations along the border with the Gaza Strip, the Southern Command had closed some major roads to military vehicles for fear of anti-tank missile fire by Hamas.