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September 27, 2016 / 24 Elul, 5776
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Hamas Mortar Shell Claims Life of 43rd Soldier Killed in War

Hamas continues to attack Israel during Israel’s unilateral extension of humanitarian ceasefire.
Israeli soldiers from the bomb squad search for a mortar shell fired from Gaza.

Israeli soldiers from the bomb squad search for a mortar shell fired from Gaza.
Photo Credit: Tsafrir Abayov / Flash90

The IDF confirmed Sunday morning that Reserve Sergeant First Class (Res.), Barak Refael Degorker, 27, of the city of Gan Yavneh north of Ashkelon, was killed Saturday night by a Hamas mortar shell.

He was the 43rd soldier to have fallen in the Protective Edge war on terror.

One other soldier was lightly wounded.

The soldiers were deployed near or in Gaza, which Hamas targeted with more than half a dozen mortar shells after Israel announced it was extending the humanitarian truce, requested by the United Nations, until midnight.

The Security Cabinet later voted 5-3 to continue the unilateral truce for another 24 hours, until midnight Sunday.

Minister Naftali Bennett, of the Jewish Home party, and Yisrael Beitenu ministers Avigdor Lieberman and Yitzchak Aharonovitch voted against the extension.

Sources in the Office of the Prime Minister said that Israel will gain more legitimacy by agreeing to the extension, despite Hamas’ continuing to fire rockets and mortar shells at Israel, and that the vote will make it easier for Israel to depend the war the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.

Even The New York Times carried a reasonably accurate headline Saturday headlining, “Israel Agrees to Extension of Cease-Fire, but Hamas Balks.”

The article, for a change stated the facts – that the Cabinet voted to extend the ceasefire “despite continued fire from Gaza into Israel during Israel’s initial four-hour extension of a 12-hour humanitarian pause” and that “three mortars landed in open areas near Gaza just as the original lull was expiring at 8 p.m.

Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, explaining the terrorist organization’s refusal to halt the attacks, stated,  “Any humanitarian ceasefire that doesn’t secure withdrawal of occupation soldiers from inside Gaza’s border, allow citizens back into home and secure the evacuation of injuries is unacceptable,”

The last past of his statement is inaccurate. Gaza sources said Sunday that more than 140 bodies were pulled out of debris during Saturday’s humanitarian ceasefire.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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