Noa and Nir Barnes
Noa and Nir BarnesCourtesy of the family

18-year-old Matan, the eldest son of Noa and Nir Barnes who were killed on Tuesday in the Golan Heights when a Hezbollah rocket struck their car, bid farewell to his parents in an Instagram post.

"Thanks, Mom and Dad, for the best life there is. You taught me so many things so now I am strong because of them. I know that you are proud of me up there, and you are certainly sitting and saying 'Wow, what a family we had.' I wanted to apologize if I hurt you, you are like oxygen to me. Pure people, in body and soul. Good people, who always helped everyone, funny people who every minute with them was happy and funny. I miss our inside jokes, I will always remember that Barnes is a moniker. In one word: thanks."

Before his parents' funeral in Netanya, Matan addressed the press: "We are not alone, and every time they write that we were orphaned, we are really not orphans. We have our parents' family and friends who are with us. I want to tell my parents that they are amazing parents, amazing, amazing, and I will never forget that.

"They gave me everything and they gave me the best life. Now they gave me the responsibility to watch over my siblings, and I think that they gave me this honor. And that's it. I am ready to accept this decision. I have people with me who will always help me. Thank you for all your concerns and those who write, it's very warming. Thank you."

A preliminary IDF investigation found that the Air Force classifies the road where the parents of three were driving when they were killed as an "open area" which is not protected by the aerial defense array and therefore interceptor missiles were not launched to intercept the barrage from Lebanon.