Israel will capture and punish terrorist, defense minister tells wounded soldier

Avigdor Liberman visited a wounded soldier and assured him that his would-be murderer will be captured. 

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman went to Soroka hospital in Beersheba Sunday to visit IDF officer Bar Vaknin, who was moderately wounded Wednesday by a Palestinian sniper right outside of the Gaza Strip.

He spoke firmly of justice to the soldier and his family, who were at his bedside.

“In the end, the IDF reaches everyone,” he said. “As we promised the family of Ronen Lubarsky, of blessed memory, that we will exact justice against the one who harmed him, this time, as well, we will reach the terrorist and close the account with him,” Liberman said.

He was referring to the vow made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the family of Staff Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky, of the elite Duvdevan army unit, who was killed during an arrest operation in Ramallah by a terrorist throwing a marble slab onto his head from a nearby roof in May.

At the time of his death, the prime minister said, “The security forces will reach the terrorist and the State of Israel will bring him to reckoning.”

Barely three weeks later, after intense intelligence work, Lubarsky’s unit arrested Islam Yousef Abu Hamid, 32, a known Hamas terrorist, for the murder.

Vaknin was hit only a few hundred meters away from where Staff Sergeant Aviv Levi of the Givati Brigade was shot and killed by a Palestinian sniper the previous week. His unit had been patrolling the Gazan border and approached a protest of young Palestinians, which turned out to be a cover for the terror attack. The soldier was evacuated by helicopter to Soroka.

After being wounded, Vaknin managed to reach his father on the phone before anyone else, according to Walla News, which published the recording of the call. In it, Vaknin says, “Dad, I love you,” and his father can be heard saying worriedly, “What happened?” His son answered, “I caught a bullet, Dad. It’s OK,” and then told him he was in the hospital.