A memorial for a fallen IDF soldier was defaced over the weekend when unknown assailants fired shots at the monument.

The memorial, between the villages of Beit Jan and Khorfeish in northern Israel, was erected in the memory of Salah Tapesh, an IDF soldier killed during an operation in southern Lebanon in 1992.

His family lodged a complaint with the police.

Tapesh was killed on April 6 1992, near the village of Houla in southern Lebanon, when a command convoy traveling in the area was ambushed by Hezbollah. Tapesh, a combat medic, was part of a security force nearby and was scrambled to help the soldiers in the convoy. Reaching the area, he saw that there were many casualties with serious injuries and the whole convoy was still under fire.

Salah Tapesh (Courtesy)

Salah Tapesh (Courtesy)

Tapesh did not leave the scene despite the ongoing attack and began helping the wounded soldiers on the ground. He was then himself hit and killed.

Tapesh was promoted to sergeant after his death and was awarded posthumously a citation for bravery.

In a statement quoted by Hebrew-language news website NRG, the Tapesh family called the vandalism a “disgraceful act.”

“Unknown people have made a firing range out of the monument for Sergeant Salah Tapesh, a hero of the Druze community and an IDF hero who received a citation for bravery from OC Northern Command in 1992. He has become a symbol of heroism, and his heritage continues [in] the IDF until today,” the family said. “Much damage has been done to the monument, and much pain and distress caused to the dear members of the family.”

Police have opened an investigation into the defaced memorial. Vandalizing monuments is a criminal offense according to Israeli law.