IDF soldier killed by Hamas anti-tank missile

The victims were evacuated under fire, Ynet reports.

By World Israel News Staff

An IDF soldier was killed and two injured when an anti-tank missile fired by Hamas struck their vehicle near the northern part of the Gaza Strip at the village of Netiv HaAsara on Wednesday.

The soldier was identified as Staff-Sgt. Omer Tabib. He was part of an operation to protect the communities around the Gaza Strip. He served in the Nahal Brigade.

The other two injured were both IDF soldiers. One was seriously injured and another moderately.

A fourth victim, 56, was identified later. He is listed in light-to-moderate condition.

The victims were evacuated under fire, Ynet reports.

The man who rescued the soldiers told the website that he heard an explosion and saw a mushroom cloud. He immediately went to help extricate them from their jeep. “The vehicle was on fire, it was really hot. I rescued them one by one. All that I thought about was saving them. A tough incident, it happened at the entrance to the agricultural area,” he said.

The victims were taken to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. Doctors are working to save the lives of the two injured soldiers, Channel 12 reported.

There are 13 people still hospitalized at Barzilai as a result of rocket attacks on Ashkelon Tuesday that killed two residents and wounded more than 40.

The IDF ordered all residents living within four kilometers of the Gaza Strip to remain in their homes due to the event. The order has since been lifted.

Hamas’ military wing took responsibility for the attack. Israel responded with tank fire toward the area where the missile originated and Israeli Air Force planes attacked.

Six Israelis have been killed by rocket attacks in the past two days and scores wounded as terrorists in Gaza fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli towns from Beer Sheba in the south to Tel Aviv and surrounding cities in the country’s center.

The village of Netiv HaAsara has for years been targeted by Palestinian terrorists with rockets and mortars and in 2007 an attempt by two armed terrorists to infiltrate was intercepted by soldiers and the terrorists were killed.

Two residents of the village have been killed by previous rocket attacks.

Veteran resident of Netiv HaAsara, Guy Rapaport, told Channel 11 said the residents were used to attacks and were staying calm.

“For the past two hours they told us to stay at home and lock the doors,” Rapaport said, adding that the explosions heard during the morning were just more of the same noise. “There’s no difference if they shoot them here or there, we hear all the rockets and Iron Dome (interceptions).”

“I don’t have any little kids, thank God, to my luck. I really do not envy the people who are here with little kids – it is really not a sympathetic situation,” he said.

Anti-tank missile strikes are uncommon events on the Gaza border. However, this is the second this week that an anti-tank missile hit another vehicle. The driver in Monday’s incident was saved, having stepped out of his vehicle before the missile struck.

The last time a man was killed by an anti-tank missile was in May 2019.

Prior to that, Hamas fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF bus in November 2018. It was filled with soldiers, almost all of whom had fortunately disembarked. However, one soldier was seriously injured.

Israel has endured attacks from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip since Monday evening when a rocket barrage was fired at Jerusalem. The situation has since escalated with hundreds of rockets fired at Israel’s south, and starting Tuesday night at central Israel.