Air Force Reserve Captain Eliyav Gelman was laid to rest Wednesday night in the Kfar Etzion cemetery.
The 30-year-old Karmei Tzur resident and father of two was killed Wednesday afternoon in a terror attack at the Gush Etzion Junction, a popular hitchhiking spot south of Jerusalem.
The attacker, a mathematics teacher from the Arab village of Dura who approached Gelman and a group of soldiers while brandishing a knife, was shot and wounded by security forces on the scene. One stray bullet, however, struck Gelman, fatally wounding him.
Thousands of mourners joined the funeral procession carrying Gelman to his final resting place. Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), MK Motti Yogev, and top army brass were all in attendance.
Gelman, who grew up in Kiryat Arba, leaves behind a pregnant wife and two small sons, Yair and Yoav. Until half a year ago he had served as a career officer in the Air Force, before leaving to look for work in the private sector.
His brother, Eyal, described the family’s loss and the struggles they would now face in his absence.
“You never feared death and always took care of your family. What will be now? Who will take Yoav to synagogue? who will be there for Rinat when she gives birth?" In another month and a half the baby will be born, your flesh and blood, but he will never be able to hug you."
His father, David, gave his parting words to his son. “I never imagined that I would be the one to eulogize you,” he said.
“You’ve joined those who sanctified God’s name. Many generations sacrificed their lives; we who are now suffering accept this judgment.”
Minister Elkin offered his own eulogy of Gelman, remembering him as “An officer, a fighter, and a hero of Israel.”