IDF soldier Yosef Fartuk, killed in a mortar shell attack Tuesday, wrote on Facebook before his death,” Woe to the first terrorist who falls in my hands.”
“Either we enter Gaza or we go home,” he wrote. “I am on my way to Gaza.”
The resident of Immanuel, located in central Samaria, was the fourth Israeli casualty since Operation Pillar of Defense began eight days ago. Later on Tuesday, a Bedouin civilian employee of the Defense Ministry also was killed.
Fartuk died at a base in the Eshkol region, next to the southern border, where soldiers continue to wait for the government to decide whether to give the go-ahead for a ground incursion into Gaza.
Immanuel’s community leader Ido Mushar said that Fartuk was one of six children and was determined to enlist in the IDF as a combat soldier. Fartuk used to train for his enlistment by running and jogging in Immanuel. He was a soldier in Tank Battalion 7.
His family is one of the veterans of Immanuel, a largely hareidi religious community located between Ariel and Karnei-Ginot Shomron, east of metropolitan Tel Aviv and close to Kedumim.
Fartuk learned at a hareidi religious high school in Jerusalem and then decided at the age of 18 to enlist.
One of his friends said, “No one can understand G-d’s ways. He takes only the good, and it is difficult to understand this. Yosef, we already miss you.”
His funeral will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem after the funeral procession from his home in Immanuel.