Shalom Menachem and Elon Waiss, of blessed memory
Shalom Menachem and Elon Waiss, of blessed memoryIDF spokesperson

Beit El is suffering double bereavement: this evening (Sunday), the IDF announced that Sergeant Shalom Menachem (21), an engineering combat soldier, was killed in the APC disaster on Saturday along with seven other soldiers.

Shalom Menachem grew up in Beit El and is survived by his parents, and 7 brothers and sisters.

Menachem's family lives about 30 meters away from the house of the parents of Elon Waiss (49), who also fell in Gaza.

Elon Waiss volunteered for reserve service despite his age, and fell in the line of duty, leaving behind a wife, seven children, and a granddaughter. He was laid to rest this evening.

Shalom Menachem's funeral took take place this evening at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl.

Head of the local council, Shai Alon, eulogized the two: "Our hearts are having a hard time coping with the heavy loss of the dear residents of Beit El, Shalom Menachem, and Elon Waiss, two respected and respectable people. Elon, who grew up in Beit El, was the son of one of its founders, Giora and Bat Sheva. He lived in Psagot and was a beloved and dear friend to all those around him. Elon fought bravely and did not give up until the last moment. He left behind a wife and 7 children. Our hearts go out to his family upon learning of the difficult news."

Alon added that "the Menachem family is a family with deep roots in Beit El. Shalom is a third-generation resident of Beit El, the grandson of Saadya and Miriam Sharabi, founders of the settlement, and the son of a wonderful family, full of spirituality and faith. Shalom was an introverted person, quiet and modest, pleasant and kind to all. He had a spark in his eyes and a huge soul that we will miss a lot."