Staff Sergeant (Res.) Saadia Yaakov Deri, of blessed memory
Staff Sergeant (Res.) Saadia Yaakov Deri, of blessed memoryCourtesy of the family

Laly, the mother of Staff Sergeant (Res.) Saadia Yaakov Dery, 27 from Tel Aviv, who was killed in action over the last 24 hours in the Gaza Strip and whose name was cleared for publication this morning (Friday), eulogized him and spoke about her son's character.

"My Saadia was a child who prioritized everyone's wishes before his own. He did much more than expected of him in every field. He was a wise student, studied for rabbinic exams, and started his bachelor's degree in teaching. He studied every free minute and had a great sense of humor. He was an amazing father to Haleli and Yinon. He was a hero in soul and body and never complained. On October 7th, he was with us when he was called for duty. Saadia loved this people, loved the Torah and the land, and fought for it," the mother eulogized.

She addressed Israel's leaders directly: "Since the beginning of the war, I was silent; now I have an obligation not to be silent. I will not allow the enormous sacrifice we made and my fallen son to be in vain. In Saadia's name, we demand victory and absolute resolve. My son did not fall for the sake of a diplomatic arrangement but for a complete victory over the enemy."

Binyamin Regional Council Governor and Yesha Council Chairman Israel Ganz also eulogized Dery. "This was Saadia Yaakov: a man, a father, a warrior, a yeshiva student, and a warm and loving family man. The Binyamin Region bows its head to the finest fruit that grew in it and fell for all of us."

"Last night, an hour before the news, we were in contact with the dear mother Laly, as she came up with ideas and initiatives to improve the response to bereaved families. She was running between bereaved families and encouraging them, even yesterday. Last night they knocked on her door. I want to send a big hug to his wife Racheli, the parents, and the whole family. The spirit of victory of Saadia and his friends must continue to beat and we must strengthen the leaders to strike the enemy to the end. Do not stop a minute too soon," said Ganz.

Dery originally came from the town of Eli in Binyamin. He is survived by his wife Racheli, and his children Haleli, 2, and Yinon, 1.

His parents, Laly and Chaim Dery, are central figures in Eli. Laly was a member of the Binyamin Regional Council and a public activist. Saadia had six siblings.

Dery will be laid to rest on Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. at the Holon Military Cemetery.