Documentation from the scene of the incident on the Egyptian border, and the Chief of Staff's investigation at the point (IDF Spokesman)
Shai Illouz, father of First Sergeant Uri Yitzhak Illouz, who was killed yesterday in a serious shooting attack near the border with Egypt, eulogized his son on Sunday morning. "The feelings are very difficult. To the community here, to Safed, to us as the family," Illouz said. "My wife, the children, they all wrap us in love. Uri Yitzhak was a cute maiden, always there for everyone. They always say the phrase, 'God takes the best,' but it really is, He knew everything, He did everything, and He was there for everyone. He and the way is his country, respect, love of others and the value of the land."
The funeral of Staff Sergeant Illouz, who served as a border infantry soldier in the Cheetah Battalion and fell last night together with Sergeant Lia Ben Nun, will take place today at the Safed Military Cemetery at 17:00. Uri Yitzhak Illouz, a resident of Safed, left behind his parents, two sisters and a brother. His father, Shai, is a permanent man who retired about a year and a half ago. Last Sunday, Uri attended the memorial service for his grandfather, after whom he is also named.
"Our last call was on Friday at five o'clock in the evening. I sent him a message and he said, 'Don't disturb me, send a message, and if I can, I'll answer.' I texted him, said, 'We haven't talked much this week,' and not a minute later he called me. We talked about last week, which was tough with a lot of work. As usual, he asked what about me, what about everyone, talked to everyone every day. I told him I was glad he told my mother that he had finally decided to go to officer training – which they demanded of him. I told him I was proud of him. He told me, 'Dad, I'm leaving the unit to change things here, I'll be an officer in the IDF,' and I, I asked him if he'd come home next Saturday and if he was going on May 16. He told me, 'No father, my soldiers have left and I have to stay. I have to be here.'"
"Alam is cute, he was always there for everyone" (Photo: courtesy of the family)
"This is Uri, a man who takes time off to the memorial service of his grandfather, after whom he is named, and then returns to the army. When it was his aunt's birthday, I told him to come home and take another day off. He told me: 'Dad, I have to be here for the soldiers.' He gave a year of his life to a pre-military preparatory program, he was active in the Ma'ase Center and touched every person," the father added.
"Uri Yitzhak is an inspirational model for everyone. He never did anything wrong to anyone, was loved by everyone, scion of a large family. A community family, an action family, a giving family. Everyone sitting here next to you is all people of action and giving, from the big to the small, and I also do what I can for the community and the neighborhood. But Uri is the main thing," Shai said.
"I served 32 years in the army, and until a year ago I served in the most difficult places in the IDF. I know what a border is, there is no easy border. You don't sleep at night as a father, there's no easy limit, and here's the proof that has arrived. Because it doesn't matter where it happens from. Whether it's from terror attacks in Jerusalem, or from this border that took three flowers. A grave injustice, and we don't know how we can move on," Illouz shared his feelings.
More in Walla!
Those killed in the incident on the Egyptian border: Lia Ben Nun, Ohad Dahan and Uri Illouz
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Shai Illouz, father of First Sergeant Uri Yitzhak Illouz (Photo: Eli Ashkenazi)
When asked, "How important is it for you to understand what happened there?" the father replied: "I will respect my son. This is the hardest day of my life. I will honor my son at shiva, he deserves all the respect in the world. I trust the IDF, I grew up in this system, I was fed by it for many years. Right now, I'm not dealing with the questions. Rest assured that both his commanders, who are senior IDF officials, and his soldiers, who became commanders and were here yesterday and remain here even now – will be able to give the exact answers. Right now, I'm not going to answer any questions."
A little more than a day has passed since the three IDF soldiers: Lia Ben Nun, Ohad Dahan and Uri Iluz fell by a terrorist who infiltrated from Egypt. The circumstances of the shooting are still unknown, although as the hours go by, more and more new details are revealed. A military source serving in the sector where the fighters fell, the Har Harif area, who was present at the time of the incident, told Walla! "At least one weapon had a McFork inside. That means there was no shooting at the terrorist, he surprised them."
"The female fighter was inside the post and the fighter outside it, 12 hours shift. What does everyone expect? What did you think soldiers would spend 12 hours at the post?" the source wondered. When the forces arrived at the scene, he said, the findings at the scene indicated that the incident had occurred several hours earlier.
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The scene of the incident on the Egyptian border, yesterday(Photo: Surfers' Photos, Shlomo Mor)
The military source added, "After the terrorist shot the two soldiers, he walked east. At least from what we understand, he understood that he would die and he did not try to return to Egypt. Anyone in this sector walks around without water, in this heat, dries easily, and from what we understand, he had no water. He walked around with a rifle, magazines, a Koran and a commando knife. Even before the brigade commander reached the sector, the forces noticed the Egyptian policeman praying from a distance. They weren't closed at first that it was a terrorist, he was very far from the force. I didn't see any drones in the sector at first."
A reserve military source who served in the sector until recently added: "There is a manpower shortage in the sector, there are not enough fighters for such a long sector. Everyone is surprised that the operations room didn't ask the fighters what was going on with them for several hours, that's the routine, so they won't tell stories. There are other sectors, like in the Gaza Strip, where this is a clear procedure. You move 100 meters from your point, and straight everyone goes up in front of your tour. On the Egyptian border, it's completely different. Not to mention senior commanders who come for visits and patrols without weapons."
Subsequently, the reservist severely criticized the conduct of the Southern Command echelon, including those serving in the Egyptian border area: "The atmosphere there is one of goodness. A border of peace with all that this implies. But in practice? These are Caracal and Cheetah battalions that serve on the line for eight consecutive months at best, and then embark on a short training that does not come close to training a battalion in the Golani or paratroopers. From time to time there is drug smuggling and what happens when you prepare in advance? Or is there prior intelligence? The undercover unit of the Border Police is allowed to lead, and the IDF usually assists in the envelope. The combination of them undoubtedly thwarts smuggling."
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- IDF fallen soldiers