Omer Smadga
Omer SmadgaIDF

At the military cemetery in Netanya, Sergeant First Class (Res.) Omer Smadga (25) from Ganot Hadar was laid to rest this afternoon (Friday). Simultaneously, Sergeant First Class (Res.) Saadia Dery (27) from Tel Aviv is being laid to rest at the military cemetery in Holon.

Among those participating in Omer’s funeral were Minister of Transportation Miri Regev, MK Eli Dallal, Mayor of Netanya Miriam Feirberg, Lev Hasharon governor Eli Aton and Emek Hefer Governor Galit Shaul. “We stand here today, mourning the terrible loss that has befallen us, especially you, the Smadga family, and we salute Omer,” said IDF representative Major Daniel Hazut at the funeral.

Oren Smadga eulogized his son: "From this place, I tell you soldiers - keep your heads high, continue as strong as possible, fight harder, and don’t stop until we win. This is my message to everyone involved in this fight. The people of Israel live."

His mother, Liat, eulogized in tears: "Omer, we can’t believe we are standing now above your grave. A brave son, a dear and beloved son, our firstborn. An only and special son with a heart of gold, always with an innocent and so beautiful face. You told the officer that if you would not enlist if you could not be a combat soldier. You succeeded; you enlisted in the 51st battalion of Golani."

"We were so proud of you for fighting and standing your ground and winning and completing full service. On October 7th, that cursed day, you were immediately called up. You didn’t hesitate for even a second; you put on your uniform and headed north. We sought some comfort in knowing that at least you weren’t in Gaza.''

"When you were called up to reserves again, we were very worried. Our stomachs turned; on Monday you headed south after being home for a break. I had a very bad feeling. Every day I texted you and asked for a sign of life. You were brave and valiant and you fell as such. I ask for your forgiveness, we salute you, our dear and beloved son. May your death not be in vain. Continue with all your might until a decisive victory, the light must defeat the darkness."

In his eulogy, the brother Rom said: "I have a memory from 2005, a red couch. We always fought there, showing me love through all our constant sparring and playing on that couch. You teased me as you did until the very last moment, like a warrior who doesn’t relent until the prey falls. Another memory is a beer in Netanya. There was a period when we were estranged for two years, you were going through a tough time and I couldn’t handle it. One sunny day, you said ‘Rom, come for a beer.’ That’s how we reconciled. The moment you left, I became the eldest brother."