Ofir Liebstein
Ofir LiebsteinFlash 90

Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council chairman Ofir Liebstein was murdered during a firefight with Hamas terrorists in the massive surprise attack against the State of Israel this morning (Saturday).

"Following the terrorist attack that is now taking place in the surrounding communities, we update with great sadness and pain that the head of the regional council, Ofir Liebstein, was killed in an exchange of fire with terrorists," the council announced in a statement. "Ofir was killed when he went out to defend the town during the terrorist attack. The council's management, employees, and the entire Sha'ar Hanegev community are saddened by his passing."

Sha'ar Henegev Regional Council deputy chairman Yossi Keren has temporarily assumed Liebstein's position.

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ) released a statement mourning Liebstein's passing.

ICEJ Vice President & Senior Spokesman David Parsons stated: "The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem mourns the passing of our friend Ofir Libstein, Mayor of the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, who fell today defending his community from the treacherous surprise attack by Hamas terrorists infiltrating from Gaza."

At least 100 Israelis were murdered when Hamas launched a massive rocket barrage and sent squads across the border to attack Israeli towns in southern Israel early Saturday morning, during the Simchat Torah holiday.