Israeli Border Police Staff Sargeant Barel Hadaria Shmueli died on Monday after succumbing to gunshot wounds he sustained during Gaza border riots the week prior.
On Saturday, 21 August 2021, Schmueli was shot in the head at point-blank range by a Palestinian terrorist as he watched over violent protests fuelled by terror groups in the Gaza Strip.
“Today we parted with the child who sacrificed his life to protect us and be the best man he can be,” Shmueli’s grieving parents said in a statement.
“Barel, we may be saying goodbye but we will never forget you. It was a privilege to know you and a shame we didn’t have more time.”
“The medical staff fought for Shmueli’s life as he underwent several surgeries. In spite of all the efforts and due to the complex nature of the injury sustained, we were forced to determine his death,” a statement from Soroka read.
Shmueli’s girlfriend, Tzlil, said, “I always called you my angel, and I never thought I would stand here. You brought so much light into my life, you gave me unconditional friendship and love and warmth that no one can understand. Thank you for letting me be yours to the last minute. I love you.”
Shmueli was a native of Beer Ya’akov in central Israel. According to his family, he was due to complete his mandatory service in two months time.
He was described by his commander as being “a valued, sociable, professional fighter” who had been mentoring new recruits.
Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett offered his condolences on Monday morning as the news broke of Schmeuli’s death.
“There are no words sufficient to comfort the family in its deep mourning,” the Prime Minister said.
“Barel was a fighter in his life and in his death. He fought for his life until the last moment, as all of Israel prayed for him. I would like to embrace the family, which has lost what was most precious to it. May Barel’s soul be bound in the chain of life.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said, “Barel Hadaria Shmueli, one of the best sons in the country, fell in defence 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. On behalf of the defence establishment, I send heartfelt condolences to his parents and family. That you will know no more sorrow,” Gantz said.
Former Prime Minister and current leader of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu also gave his condolences.
“Our hearts are broken,” Netanyahu wrote on behalf of himself and his wife, Sara. “We prayed for a miracle. Unfortunately, the worst has happened.”
“Barel fought with his friends with determination and heroism in the face of terrorism from Gaza. We will never forget his bravery,” Netanyahu concluded.
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog said he was “saddened and deeply pained by the passing of the Border Police officer St.-Sgt. Barel Shmueli, of blessed memory, who fell in the line of duty.”
Adding: “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.”
The deadly attack occurred on Saturday during violent riots started by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza.
A video of the incident shows that rioters had amassed on the border barrier, and had flanked Shmueli’s firing position. The rioters made several attempts to steal his weapon, which he fended off. The final video of attacks on Schmueli shows rioters striking the barrel of the firearm with clubs and rocks before a gunman runs up and aims a pistol through the viewing hole in the wall and fires a pistol at Shmueli several times point-blank.
A video shows Palestinians along the Gaza border fence this evening firing a gun into an IDF firing position. pic.twitter.com/WTln2UznEk
— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) August 21, 2021
While Israel has mourned the death of another young Israeli taken before his time, Palestinians have celebrated the murder, handing out sweets and celebrating on the streets in Gaza.
استمرار توزيع الحلوى في غزة احتفالاً وابتهاجاً بمقتل الجندي الإسرائيلي القناص على حدود قطاع غزة .🇵🇸 pic.twitter.com/kv5RR78Lfw
— غزة الآن – Gaza Now #عاجل 🚨 (@GazaNownews) August 30, 2021
“The distribution of sweets continues in Gaza to celebrate the killing of the Israeli soldier,” the tweet reads.
A shameful demonstration of the hatred against Israel that continues to fuel this conflict.
Israeli forces continue to valiantly defend their land from the anti-Semitic hatred of Palestinian terror groups.
Barel Shmueli gave his life to defend the homeland God gave the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance. While we mourn every Israeli soldier killed in action, we also honour them for their service to this righteous cause against hatred and evil that fuels Palestinian terrorism.
Because of the sacrifices of these brave Israeli men and women the nation of Israel continues to live and prosper.
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