Photo Credit: Tsachi Miri / TPS
Shuki Gilboa with his wife Shlomit, in their Kiryat Arba home.

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Shuki Gilboa served as a volunteer on the Kiryat Arba security team and was seriously injured while responding to the terror attack on June 30 in which 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was killed.

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“It took time for the IDF to arrive,” Gilboa recounted during an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “Our security team was the first on the scene as we all live close by.”

Gilboa was on the way to meet his wife when he received an urgent notification from the Kiryat Arba security team that an Arab was spotted climbing the fence and was inside Kiryat Arba. Gilboa picked up his M16 rifle and ran to the Kiryat Arba Yeshiva High School, which he assumed to be the most likely target of a potential terrorist attack.

After arriving at the school and understanding that it was secure, he began to search the surrounding area in coordination with the rest of the security team. During the search, another member of the security team heard strange noises coming from the Ariel house.

As the security team was about to enter the house, Hallel’s father, Rabbi Amichai Ariel, arrived and entered the house with Shuki and Chanoch Kahane, another member of the security team. Rabbi Ariel immediately ran to the children’s bedroom where Hallel was sleeping and found his daughter lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds.

Gilboa heard Rabbi Ariel scream, “They killed her!” and realized that the terrorist was still in the house.

“I realized that the terrorist was still inside,” Gilboa told TPS. “I turned to report it on the radio when I noticed a black image out of the corner of my eye.”

The “black image” was in fact the terrorist hiding in Hallel’s bedroom who then attacked Gilboa. Chanoch Kahane then ran into the room and fired two shots at the terrorist, the first of which hit the terrorist in the back and the second entered Gilboa’s head above his ear and exited through his left eye.

Gilboa remained fully conscious and was evacuated to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, where doctors worked feverishly to save his eye but to no avail. Gilboa lost all sight in his left eye and will have to use a prosthesis for the rest of his life.

Gilboa was amazed to receive support from people of all walks of life after suffering the injury.

“The support I received was incredible,” he said. “So many people came to visit me, people whom I did not even know.”

“The commander of IDF Central Command visited, along with three government ministers,” he continued. “People who do not even live in Israel, people who just happened to be in Israel at the time, visited me in the hospital.”

Gilboa, who had served in the elite Sayeret Matkal unit and has trained community security teams since his army service, emphasized the crucial importance of the communal security team.

“Today, the citizens are the ones who engage the terrorists,” he stressed. “We are the first line of defense and we are the first to respond 90% of the time.”

“The fact that we do not have quality equipment or training is a very serious issue,” he added. “We are the first on the scene, yet we have extremely shoddy gear and almost never train.”

Gilboa also expressed how disappointed he was in the media coverage of the story.

“When they broadcasted Hallel’s funeral on television, they showed a split screen that featured the terrorists’ joyful mother, who was celebrating her son becoming a martyr. It sends a message of weakness,” he contended. “There should have been a split screen of the terrorist’s house being demolished without any petitions to the Supreme Court. Only then will the world respect us.”

Gilboa’s wife, Shlomit, is an operating room medic at Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, which Gilboa says is a great help since she understands all the medical terminology, but he admits that the rehabilitation process is difficult. “I have been in a lot of pain and there are new things I have to get used to,” he said. “It can mean sleepless nights and it isn’t easy.”

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I can't think of the words to express the strong feelings of love and gratitude for you, Gilboa, and your wife. I love the chosen people of Israel, and Jerusalem, the center of the Earth. So sorry about Hallel's murder, poor child.

  2. This is why every terrorist should be killed where they stand or fall. The soldier on trial for murder is just a panacea for the international community, a sop for the man in the White House and the governments of the EU and of the self-proclaimed country of "Palestine." It is an abomination that he has been charged and will be a sin of the greatest magnitude if he is imprisoned.

  3. Hit by friendly fire. How wacked is that. This kahane guy should receive a swift kick in the balls, disciplinary action, demotion and retraining. Unless he really had no choice as in gilboa was a blink away from certain death. Needs further investigation.

  4. Gilboa is such a hero. This is a war. I would like to see all vulnerable family homes much better fortified, in the way that we do it in Australia. Top notch security doors that always work and if necessary just keep yourself locked in, whenever at home. Bars on the windows if necessary. My life and our baby's was saved back in 93, when I had a crazed gunman with a rifle at the front door – by really strong steel security doors. Its so distressing what happened to the young teen who was murdered. My outrage has no bounds.

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