An IDF soldier who fought in Gaza during the recent ground operation there was critically injured by a rocket in Ashdod Friday night while on vacation from the army. The soldier, 21, serves in the military’s Ordnance Corps and had only recently returned from combat. His younger brother, 19 and a soldier in the air force, was lightly injured. They were hit while in their car.

Doctors told Ynet the badly wounded soldier had been brought in with shrapnel in his brain. He is currently in stable but critical condition.

“They were just on vacation and went out to enjoy themselves,” the young men’s father said. “They’re lucky there was an ambulance right behind them that picked them up immediately after they were injured.”

“We’re hoping for the best,” he added. “Prayer is needed. Things will be alright.”

Eden Nagar, a woman who was lightly wounded in the incident, said she had been in a vehicle adjacent to the two soldiers’ car when the rocket hit.

“We stood at a junction, at a traffic light, in our car,” she recalled. “Next to us was antoher car with the two brothers. I heard sirens and wanted to get out but they guy with me in the car told me there was no siren and closed the door, he wouldn’t let me out. When he closed the door there was a huge blast.”

“Everyone in cars around us got out of their cars [before the rocket hit, as per Home Front Command’s instructions] except for the guy who was wounded. He stayed in the car,” she said. “If he had come out, he would have saved himself, and if I had come out I would have been more seriously injured.”