Hundreds Attend Funeral of Israeli Soldier Killed in West Bank Stabbing

About 1,000 people gather to remember yeshiva student Dvir Sorek

Friends and relatives mourn during the funeral procession of Israeli soldier Dvir Sorek in the West Bank settlement of Ofra, August 8, 2019.
REUTERS/Corinna Kern

About 1,000 people attended the funeral of a soldier who was killed in West Bank on Thursday.

Dvir Sorek, who was murdered near the kibbutz of Migdal Oz in the Etzion settlement bloc, was buried in the settlement's cemetery.

“In a few days we were going to celebrate your 19th birthday,” mourned Dvir’s father, Yoav Sorek. “I think of those 19 years and cannot refrain from smiling, because your memory evokes a beaming face, positive thinking, innocence and love of mankind,” he said.

“I often used to stand and gaze at you with wonder. You have such a special personality, that I felt I couldn’t fathom it. I was only able to love and celebrate it. It was a gift we received for almost 19 years. A gift that spread light and kindness inside the family and out of it. Without pretentiousness or cynicism.”

“You are light, and you have gone away from us," the grieving father added, "and we’ll try to return light and goodness, to strengthen the family despite the pain, to adhere to life, to bring light. May your pure soul, Dvirik, be safe in the bond of eternal life.”

The rabbi of Ofra, Avi Gisser, also lamented Sorek’s passing.

“[People] cannot stop talking about Dvir’s large, pure eyes. Sweetness and endless rejoicing in life,” he said. “Many of those standing here are Dvir’s friends, the same age and the age of all the wonderful children of the Sorek family. They are all devastated because the enemy has prevailed. So we take on ourselves this holy command this day: to rise up and stand and walk proudly on every path, all the roads of our country, on every hike, in every synagogue and community, every place and every site of the Land of Israel. We must rise and defeat a wicked, evil enemy.”

The defense establishment has currently discarded the original theory that whoever murdered Sorek, who was found with stab wounds to his body, did not attempt to abduct him first. Evidence gathered during the day indicate he had walked some 200 meters, from the bus stop in the Efrat settlement to the gate of the yeshiva he studied in, close to Migdal Oz. He was presumably stabbed to death on this route sometime on Wednesday evening.

The defense establishment also believes Sorek was not bundled into a car at any stage of the attack, and that he may have reached the side of the road, where he was found, himself in a bid to call for help.