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Israeli soldier injured in West Bank arrest operation buried in Jerusalem

Ronen Lubarsky
Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky, 20, was hit by a heavy slab thrown from the third story of a rooftop

The Israeli soldier from an elite unit who was critically injured after being hit in the head by a “heavy object” during a West Bank arrest operation succumbed to his wounds on Saturday and was buried early Sunday morning at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl military cemetery.

Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky, 20, was hit by a heavy slab thrown from the third story of a rooftop at a group of soldiers conducting an operational arrest of suspected terrorist in the al-Am’ari refugee camp west of Ramallah. 

“My dear brother, how did we arrive at this strange situation?” Lubarsky’s brother Eric said at the funeral, which was attended by hundreds. “You fought. Throughout your life you chose all of the closed doors and were better than everyone else. I’m sure you chose this moment too.”

Lubarsky, who was from the central city of Rehovot, served in the army’s elite Duvdevan special operations unit, and was posthumously promoted to Staff Sergeant.

The commander of Lubarsky's Duvdevan unit, Lt. Col. A. praised the deceased as "the son of a family of warriors, the salt of the earth."

The circumstances surrounding the incident are unknown and under investigation. However, according to the Times of Israel, the army said the soldier was wearing a helmet during the time of attack.

On Friday the army revealed that the operation was part of a joint Shin Bet mission to “apprehend a squad of operatives who were involved in shooting attacks within the region recently,” an IDF statement wrote. One member of the terror cell was said to have been arrested during the raid and later on Thursday evening, another two were apprehended.

IDF

It was yet to be established if the Palestinian who threw the slab at the IDF soldier was a member of the cell.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement on Saturday following the news of Lubarsky's death, saying "I express deep sorrow over the death of Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky and send heartfelt condolences to his family. The security branches will reach the terrorist and the State of Israel will bring him to justice."

President Reuven Rivlin expressed his deep sorrow too, saying "I was very sad to receive the news of the death of the honorable IDF sergeant Ronen Lubarsky. Last night I managed to talk to his parents and brothers about his condition and to send prayers for his recovery. Today, we share the grief of this terrible tragedy."

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman also commented on Lubarsky's death, saying "On Saturday we lost Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky, who was severely wounded in an operation to arrest wanted persons... I wish to send condolences in the name of Israel to the family and closely follow efforts to stop the terrorist. We will bring justice to Ronen."

Also on Thursday, a Palestinian man was arrested after opening fire on a border police officer at a checkpoint south of Jerusalem in the West Bank. There were no injuries.

Israeli soldiers regularly carry out nightly raids across the West Bank, routinely detaining suspects wanted for low-level terror attacks, illegal weapons possession, and other security related offenses. Last year 1,380 Palestinian suspects were arrested in similar missions according to Hadashot news.

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Rip brave soldier

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