'A modest man; knew how to respect everyone, loved everyone'

Ashkelon father of four buried as Gaza conflict rumbles in background

Dozens attend funeral of Moshe Agadi; Home Front Command urges public to stay away over security fears

Friends and relatives mourn as they attend the funeral of 58-year-old Moshe Agadi, who was killed from shrapnel wounds after his house was hit directly by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on May 5, 2019. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)
Friends and relatives mourn as they attend the funeral of 58-year-old Moshe Agadi, who was killed from shrapnel wounds after his house was hit directly by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, southern Israel, on May 5, 2019. (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)

Dozens of Israelis attended the funeral of Moshe Agadi, a 58-year-old father of four, who was killed early Sunday morning when a rocket from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip slammed into his home in the southern city of Ashkelon.

The burial was held to the soundtrack of explosions in Gaza, as the Israel Defense Forces stepped up its strikes across the coastal enclave in response to the firing of over 600 rockets and mortars at Israel since Saturday.

The limited attendance — typically hundreds or thousands attend burials of terror victims — was in accordance with a directive from the IDF’s Home Front Command, prohibiting any gatherings of more than 300 people in the range of Gaza rockets amid the ongoing barrages.

“Moshe was modest man. He knew how to respect everyone, loved everyone and was loved by people. He was happy and smiled constantly. This is a terribly difficult loss,” the victim’s brother Shai Agadi eulogized, according to Hebrew media.

Friends who attended the funeral and spoke to reporters afterward said Agadi was a hard worker who ran a pair of produce stands at the Ashkelon open market. “I worked beside him for almost 30 years at the market. I never heard a bad thing come out of his mouth,” said Baruch Sa’ada.

Moshe Agadi, 58, who was killed when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip scored a direct hit on his home in Ashkelon in southern Israel early on May 5, 2019 (courtesy)

Representing the government at the burial were Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis and MKs Moti Yogev and Yoav Kisch.

Agadi was declared dead after being rushed to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center with shrapnel wounds he sustained when the rocket hit his home in the city at around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

He was the first Israeli fatality from Gazan rocket attacks since the 2014 war with terrorists based in the Strip. A Palestinian man working in Israel was killed in a rocket strike in Ashkelon in November.

Israelis attend the funeral of Moshe Agadi in the city of Ashkelon, Israel, May 5, 2019. Agadi was killed earlier in the day outside his home in Ashkelon by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip. (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

On Sunday afternoon, two other Israelis were confirmed killed by a rocket and an anti-tank guided missile strike on a car near the Gaza border.

The killings came as intense fighting engulfed the region over the weekend, sharply intensifying tensions after several months of relative calm between Israel and the Strip.

From Saturday, some 600 rockets and mortar shells were fired from Gaza at Israel, with about two-thirds of the projectiles striking empty fields, according to the IDF. Rocket sirens were set off throughout the south and center, as cities as far north as coastal Netanya instructed their bomb shelters to be opened to the public.

The violence — which came after a period of relative calm around the enclave —  began on Friday evening, when a sniper from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group shot at two soldiers along the Gaza border, injuring them, and the military responded with a strike on a Hamas position that killed several members of the Islamist terror group.

On Sunday, as the rocket and mortar fire continued, the IDF carried out further strikes in the Strip and assassinated a Hamas member who was involved in money transfers from Iran, according to the army.

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