Twelve IDF reservists were killed by a Katyusha rocket near Kibbutz Kfar Giladi as they were preparing to enter Lebanon On Sunday. All have been named:
Sgt. Gregory Aharonov, 34, of Or Akiva, moved to Israel from the Ukraine in 1991. Despite concerns about serving, Aharanov obliged when he was called up. Aharanov was named after his grandfather who died, also at the age of 34, in World War One. Aharanov was the manager of a cosmetics factory and is survived by his wife, two children, parents and older sisters. He was laid to rest at 4 p.m. on Monday.
Sgt.-Maj. Marian Berkowitz, of Ashdod, was called up Wednesday and has a younger brother who is currently serving in Lebanon. Friends described him as fun loving and that he “loved challenges.” Berkowitz is survived by his parents and two brothers. He was laid to rest at 4 p.m. on Monday in the Ashdod military cemetery.
CWO Yosef Karkash, 41, of Afula, met with Shlomo Buchris, his cousin and fellow reservist, early Sunday. Later that day, both cousins were killed by the Katyusha. Relatives are devastated, and were quoted as saying that they “don’t know which family to visit and console first.” Karkash is survived by his wife and two daughters. He was laid to rest at 5 p.m. in the Afula military cemetery.
Sgt.-Maj. Ro’i Yaish, 27, of Herzliya
got his call up order last week. “He loved his motorcycle,” friends said. “You couldn’t touch his bike or his helmet. Whenever we heard his bike, we knew he was coming and everyone would get excited.” Ro’i is survived by his parents and three brothers. Ro’i was laid to rest at 5 p.m. in his hometown.
Despite being recently hurt in a field trip to the Judean Desert, St.-Sgt. Yehuda Greenfeld, 27, of Maale Michmas, was called to duty. Greenfeld leaves behind a two and a half year old daughter and a four month old son. Greenfled is survived by his wife and two kids, along with his parents and five brothers. He was laid to rest at 5 p.m. in the Herzliya cemetery.
St.-Sgt. Shaul Shai Michlowitz, 21, of Netanya, had finished his army service three months ago, and was waiting for his request to serve additional time as a career soldier to be authorized. Instead, he received an emergency call-up order last week. Shaul is survived by his parents and two sisters. He was buried at 5 p.m. in the Netanya military cemetery.
St.-Sgt.Maj. Daniel Ben-David, 38, of Moshav Ahituv, volunteered to join fellow paratroopers in Lebanon, despite his family’s objections. Ben-David was described by a neighbor as “always laughing and hugging” and as someone who “loved to help people.” Ben-David is survived by his wife and three children. He was buried at 5:30 p.m. in the Ahitub cemetery.
Warr.Ofc. Shmuel Halfon, 41, of Bat Yam, was called up two weeks ago, only to be told that he could return home last week. One day after he went home, Halfon was called up again. Family members said that Halfon loved the army and liked serving reserve duty. Halfon left behind three sons, one of whom is 11 months old. Halfon is survived by his wife and three sons. He was laid to rest at 7 p.m. in the military section of the Holon cemetery.
Sgt.-Maj. Ziv Balali, 28, of Kfar Sava, was about to celebrate his 29th birthday next month. Ziv recently completed a degreee in Middle East Studies. He is survived by his parents and sister. He was laid to rest at 7 p.m. in the military cemetery in his hometown.
St.-Sgt.Maj. Shlomo Buchris, 36, of Moshav Sde Yitzchak, reassured his brother that while other troops had gone into Lebanon, he had not yet entered and was fine. Just a short time later, Buchris was killed. Buchris was named after his father, who fell in the Six Day war.
He was buried at 7:15 p.m. in the Sde Yitzhak cemetery.
F.-Sgt. Mordechai Abutbul, 28, of Shlomi. He was buried at 10 p.m. in the military section of the Shlomi cemetery.
Captain Eliyahu Elkariaf, 34, of Moshav Granot. He will be laid to rest on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in the military section of the Kfar Ata cemetery.