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IDF Soldier Dies of Wounds Sustained in Gaza Operation

Shahar Shalev becomes 67th soldier killed in action during Operation Protective Edge.

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Ari Soffer,

Shahar Shalev
Shahar Shalev
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An IDF soldier critically wounded during Operation Protective Edge succumbed to his injuries Sunday.

20-year-old Shahar Shalev, a Paratrooper from Alonei Habashan in the central Golan Heights, became Israel's 67th fallen soldier during the operation. His death brought the overall death-toll in Israel to 72.

Shalev was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in the southern Gazan city of Khan Younis, at the start of the ground operation to locate and destroy Hamas's network of terror tunnels into Israel. He was hospitalized at Rambam Hospital in Haifa since then, some four and half weeks ago.

The same explosion also killed three of his fellow soldiers - ;Lieutenant Paz Eliyahu, 22, from Evron; Sergeant First Class Li Mat, 19, from Eilat; and Sergeant First Class Shahar Dauber, 19, from Kibbutz Ginegar, hy"d. 

Appeals by his parents for people to donate blood platelets were met with an overwhelming response, as citizens rushed to give blood to save his life. Sadly, despite extensive treatment he succumbed to his wounds.

His death comes two days after that of another soldier - 22-year-old Sgt. Natanel Maman hy''d - who died of wounds sustained in a rocket attack. 

Maman was critically wounded just over a week ago by shrapnel from a rocket that exploded next to Gan Yavneh in the Ashdod region, and died of his wounds on Friday morning at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva.

Maman was wounded while on a weekend home leave, enjoying a short break from the defensive operation in Gaza. He was left fighting for his life while hospitalized at Beilinson hospital before eventually succumbing to his critical wounds.

Natanel's funeral took place on Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Gan Yavneh cemetery.