Fallen YAMAM operator Noam Raz
Fallen YAMAM operator Noam Raz Provided by the family

The news of the death of Border Police officer Noam Raz, a member of the elite YAMAM counterterror unit who was fatally wounded during a gunfight in the Jenin area earlier today, has brought statements of mourning from Israel's highest-ranking officials.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett commented "Through the course of his 23 years of service, Noam took part in countless combat operations. We have lost a brave and determined officer who risked his life in a battle against terrorists during a bold, complex, and sensitive operation."

Knesset Speaker Miki Levy commented: "My deepest regrets over the loss of Noam, who gave his best years to fight terror and secure the state of Israel. I encourage all our security forces in their enormous efforts to ensure that we can all live safely."

Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated: "In the name of Israel's entire security industry, I express our deep sorrow at the death of YAMAM operator Noam Raz. We will continue to fight terrorists, their masters, and everyone who would harm the citizens and state of Israel."

Opposition leader Netanyahu commented: "In my name and that of my wife, I send my condolences to the family of the late Noam Raz, a father of six and founder of the town of Kida. May God avenge his death."

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai commented "We bow our heads in memory of Noam, who fell while exchanging fire with terrorists in the Jenin area. He was a dedicated father and husband, and in addition to being a combat operative, was a paramedic who saved more than one life under direct enemy fire."

Norder Police commander Amir Cohen added "He was an experienced and dedicated operative, one of our best sons, who took part in countless counterterror operations and fell to the fire of terrorist lowlifes in the Jenin area. We embrace the family of a hero who gave his life for the security of Israel."

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked commented: "My heart was broken at the news of Noam's death. He was a hero, a farmer at heart, a family man, who lived the Bible's commandment 'to work the land and guard it."

Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar commented: "This is a terrible thing to hear right before Shabbat. Noam was a humble and experienced officer who gave his life while bravely fighting terrorists this morning near Jenin. My heartfelt condolences to the family."

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli commented: "I embrace his wife, his children, and his comrades at this difficult time. May he be the last casualty."

Culture and Sports minister Hili Tropper commented: "Noam saved many lives for more than twenty years, and Israel owes him a debt it cannot repay. My condolences to the family."

MK Nir Orbach (Yamina) commented: "All of Israel mourns Noam, who will be remembered as one of those who fell so that we can continue living in this land. He was a father of six and one of the founders of his town. I send my heartfelt condolences to the family."

MK Bezalel Smotrich (Religious Zionism) commented: "I bow my head in Noam's memory, and embrace his family and comrades at this difficult time. I send my encouragement to all of Israel's security forces."

MK Itamar Ben-Gvir (Religious Zionism) commented: "It was with the greatest sorrow that I heard of Noam's passing. I hear from operatives that were at the scene that there had been an order from higher up to hold fire at the time, and the responsibility for this lies exclusively with the government of Israel."

The head of the Kiryat Arba regional council commented: "He was a man who lived in Israel as a conscious activity, not simply as an aside. He saved many lives in endless counterterror operations, and was a humble man who never boasted of what he did."

The Yesha council released a statement saying "We have lost one of our best sons, a hero of Israel. We call on the government to wake itself up - Jenin has become a hothouse of terorrism, which must be uprooted and replaced with the return to towns long since evicted like Sa-Nur and Ganim."

United Hatzalah released a statement saying: "Noam was a certified paramedic and active volunteer, who helped train other volunteers with lectures and demonstrations. May his memory be a blessing."

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