Illustration Albert Tzadikov/Flash 90

Sergeant Eliyahu Drori, 20, a student of the hesder yeshiva in Sha'alvim, is the IDF soldier who was killed in an operational accident in the Nitzana area on the weekend.

His funeral will take place on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at the military cemetery on Mount Herzl.

Yeshivat Sha'alvim, where Eliyahu studied, and the hesder yeshivas union published a statement of mourning on Saturday night.

“Eliyahu was full of joy and had a heart of gold. The will that he left us all: To continue advancing in building personality and building the Torah for the people and the land. The yeshiva heads and the students send condolences to the family,” the statement said.

Three other soldiers were injured in the accident, two of them seriously.

Initial investigations show that the IDF received information on a smuggling attempt from Egypt. The attempt was foiled, but a short time later, there were reports that the smugglers were attempting a terror attack somewhere else along the border.

The tank's crew was called to the scene, and for an unexplained reason, decided to drive down the slope near the Nitzana Stream. When the tank reached the bottom of the incline, it began to slide towards the stream, and a shell exploded.

The three injured soldiers, also yeshiva students from Ma'alot and Sderot, were evacuated for medical treatment by helicopter at the Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva.