IDF soldier from Los Angeles seriously injured on Gaza border

The young soldier immigrated to Israel and volunteered to serve in the Israeli army, despite his parents’ pleading with him not to join the IDF.

By and World Israel News Staff

A battle between Israeli forces and Gaza rioters left an Israeli soldier named Yoad Zaguri wounded Sunday night, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

Zaguri was hit by a homemade bomb thrown by Gazans on the border at around 9 p.m., and was evacuated to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center with shrapnel wounds to the neck and severe bleeding.

Israel fought back, with 19 rioters injured, including one who sustained a head wound, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.

Zaguri’s aunt, Yardena Ben-Avraham, told Ynet that her nephew “left everything and came here,” referring to his comfortable life in the Los Angeles area.

She explained that Zaguri’s father has a business in the United States, and his parents pleaded with him not to enlist. According to Ben-Avraham, Zaguri would not be deterred, and insisted on serving in the IDF’s Nahal Brigade.

Zaguri’s girlfriend Ella Avi Mor also commented to the media at the hospital, describing her shock upon hearing about the incident.

“We are both from the Los Angeles area,” she told Ynet. “We have been together for a year and five months. He’s my best friend.”

According to reports out of Gaza, the rioters almost breached Israel’s security fence, but were pushed back by Israeli gunfire and Israeli tank shells aimed at a Hamas position near the border.

As part of the riots, Arabs threw explosives and rocks, and burned tires. The battle occurred just two days after an undercover Israeli police officer was injured in a major border riot.

Israel’s military intelligence unit warned last Wednesday that Hamas may be gearing up to start a war with Israel as a way of drawing international attention and funds to the region.

Earlier in February, Israel announced the near-completion of a 40-mile, 20-foot high galvanized steel fence, which will also extend underground and prevent terrorists from infiltrating Israel from beneath the ground as well as from above.