Hundreds attend funeral for Druze soldier killed by grenade
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Hundreds attend funeral for Druze soldier killed by grenade

US-born Shlomo Rindenow, second victim in the accidental blast, to be buried later in the day

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Staff Sgt. Hussam Tafesh,who was killed on July 17, 2016, when a grenade he was holding apparently discharged accidentally at an IDF base on the Golan Heights (via Facebook)
Staff Sgt. Hussam Tafesh,who was killed on July 17, 2016, when a grenade he was holding apparently discharged accidentally at an IDF base on the Golan Heights (via Facebook)

Hundreds of people were on hand Monday to pay their last respects to an IDF soldier killed in an grenade accident that also claimed the life of another serviceman and injured three others.

Staff Sgt. Hussam Tafesh, 24, was laid to rest in his hometown of Beit Jann, in the north of Israel.

The other soldier killed, Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow, 20, originally from the US but living in Sde Yoav, is to be buried at 3 p.m. at the Netzer Hazani cemetery in central Israel.

The two soldiers were killed and three others wounded Sunday morning when a grenade accidentally exploded near an army post on the Golan Heights, the IDF said in a statement.

תיעוד כואב: מאות מלווים למנוחות את החייל חוסם טפאש ז"ל בכפר בית ג'אן.

Posted by ‎באזזנט‎ on Monday, 18 July 2016

The incident occurred when Tafesh drove his army vehicle up to a military outpost at the entrance to the northern town of Majdal Shams at around 7 a.m. He exited the vehicle while holding a grenade, the army said. The grenade then exploded, killing him and Rindenow, who was standing near the vehicle. The three soldiers inside the vehicle were wounded.

Rindenow’s family was flying in from the US to attend the funeral.

Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow (courtesy)
Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow (courtesy)

His brother Jeff Rindenow asked for people to attend his brother’s funeral.

“During most of his service my brother was alone,” Rindenow said, according to Channel 2. “He volunteered for the army because he wanted to be a fighter. We ask that at least in his last farewell he should not be alone.”

“After he was almost alone throughout his whole service, we hope that now, in his last moments, he will surrounded by love.”

Rindenow moved to Israel from Passaic, New Jersey, when he was 18, and spent a year volunteering with a search and rescue organization in Israel before enlisting in the IDF.

A special IDF committee headed by Col. Yoav Yarom has been tasked with investigating the circumstances surrounding the deadly explosion.

Paramedics and rescue personnel attend the scene after a grenade accidentally discharges at an IDF base on the Golan Heights, killing Staff Sgt. Hussam Tafesh (inset, top) and Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow (inset, bottom) on July 17, 2016 (JALAA MAREY/AFP)
Paramedics and rescue personnel attend the scene after a grenade accidentally discharges at an IDF base on the Golan Heights, killing Staff Sgt. Hussam Tafesh (inset, top) and Sgt. Shlomo Rindenow (inset, bottom) on July 17, 2016 (JALAA MAREY/AFP)

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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