‘All Israel Prayed For Him’: Soldier Shot at Gaza Border Dies From Injuries After Nine-Day Battle
Israeli 21-year-old border police Staff Sergeant Barel Hadaria Shmueli, who was injured by Palestinian gunfire along the Gaza border, succumbed to his wounds on Monday after nine days fighting for his life.
“I was deeply saddened to receive the bitter news about the death of Shmueli, who fell defending Israel’s security. There are no words sufficient to comfort the family in its deep mourning,” said Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. “Barel was a fighter in his life and in his death. He fought for his life until the last moment, as all Israel prayed for him. I would like to embrace the family, which has lost what was most precious to it.”
Shmueli was critically injured on Aug. 21 ago after being shot in the head by Palestinian gunfire amid violent clashes between the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Palestinian rioters, who gathered along the security fence border of the Gaza Strip. The soldier enlisted in 2019 joining the border police southern unit, where he served as a sniper. He had two months left of his service.
“Shmueli, one of the best sons in the country, fell in defense of the homeland and the residents of the south. Just a few days ago I went into his room and prayed in my heart that he would recover, but the hard news came and with it great pain,” said Israel’s defense minister Benny Gantz. “On behalf of the defense establishment, I send heartfelt condolences to his parents and family.”
According to defense establishment sources cited by the Walla! news site, Shmueli’s shooter was a member of the Hamas security apparatus, who is believed to have acted on his own. The IDF confirmed that observers along the northern Gaza Strip border did not notice the armed terrorist who approached the Gaza wall and fired three shots at Shmueli from close range. According to the investigation, one of the bullets hit him in the face, leading to his fatal injuries.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid sent his condolences to Shmueli’s family describing Barel “a warrior in his soul.”
“I am saddened and deeply pained by the passing of Shmueli, who fell in the line of duty,” mourned Israeli President Isaac Herzog. “Over the past week, I have been in continuous contact with his mother, Nitza, and together with the People of Israel we prayed for his recovery. My wife Michal and I embrace his family and share in their heavy grief over the passing of such a beloved, dear son. May his memory be a blessing.”