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Family of soldier killed in Gaza seeks to retrieve stolen hard drive of memories

Sister-in-law of Staff Sgt. Bnaya Rubel, who died in 2014, says thieves stole device containing emotionally ‘priceless’ files of fallen serviceman

Staff Sgt. Bnaya Rubel, 20 years old, was killed in action during Operation Edge. (Photo credit: IDF)
Staff Sgt. Bnaya Rubel, 20 years old, was killed in action during Operation Edge. (Photo credit: IDF)

A hard drive that contained the files of an Israeli soldier killed in the 2014 Gaza war was stolen during a break-in at the family’s home in Rishon Lezion, his sister-in-law said Saturday.

In a Facebook post, Maayan Korem Rubel asked for anyone with information on the hard drive to get in touch with her, so the family can get it back. She said the disk contains all the family’s memories of Staff Sgt. Bnaya Rubel, 20.

“Its monetary value is little but its emotional value is priceless,” Maayan Rubel wrote.

The burglary happened overnight Friday-Saturday at the family home on Ha’Sipun Street in the central region city.

It is the second time burglars have stolen items containing personal memories of Rubel.

In 2017, thieves stole a cellphone from Rubel’s father’s car. The device contained photos of Rubel and messages he had sent to his father, Channel 12 news reported Saturday.

At the time, the family and police asked for the public’s help in retrieving the phone. An investigation was opened and police were eventually able to locate the device and return it to the bereaved father.

Rubel was killed on July 19, 2014, in the Gaza Strip. He was killed by a Hamas gunman who emerged from a tunnel and opened fire on IDF troops. Another soldier was also injured. The troops returned fire, killing the gunman.

Rubel was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant.

Israel had sent ground troops into Gaza during the seven-week conflict when the IDF clashed with Hamas-led terror groups in the Palestinian enclave. A total of 74 people — 68 IDF soldiers, 11 of whom were killed in cross-border tunnel attacks, and 6 civilians — died on the Israeli side of the conflict. In Gaza, more than 2,000 people were killed, with Israel putting the number of civilians killed at approximately 50 percent, the rest being combatants.

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