Thousands attended Monday the funeral of IDF soldier Gabriel (Gal) Kobi of Tirat Hacarmel, who was killed Sunday after an Arab sharpshooter targeted him while he was on patrol in Hevron. The funeral took place at the military cemetery in Haifa, and was attended by dozens of members of Kobi's Givati unit.
Speaking at the funeral, Kobi's commanding officer said that “the choice to enter a battlefield unit is not an easy one. That he made the choice says a great deal about Gal, about the values he grew up on. He was a top soldier, well loved by his fellow soldiers and commanders. He fell defending the Jewish community in Hevron,” the commander said.
Also speaking at the funeral was Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, who said that there was nothing to say to comfort Kobi's friends and family.
“Once again we stand and cry for a son who went out into the field but did not return. Around us is a sea of hatred, our neighbors teach their little children to murder Jews. Some want us to lay down our weapons, and others want us to run away. Do not be mistaken; we will do neither. Though we may shed tears in Hevron, in Bat Yam, and in Haifa, we will continue to build,” Bennett said.
“We must stop giving our enemies the impression that Jewish blood is the cheapest commodity in the Middle East, and that there is no punishment for spilling it,” Bennett said. “We do not pardon car thieves, but we free terrorist murderers of Jews. We are fighting to change this conception. The terrorists that killed Gal will be severely punished, and I promise that we will fight to ensure that there is not even an option for them to be released, ever,” Bennett added.
Kobi was killed after he was shot in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood of Hevron near the Machpelah Cave in the city, at about 6:30 PM Sunday. A Magen David Adom crew treated the victim, who was struck by bullets in his upper body. He was later taken by helicopter to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, where he died of his wounds.