Family, friends and comrades gathered on Wednesday to bury 1st Lt. David Golovensitz, who was killed in Hebron on Tuesday when one of his soldiers accidentally discharged his weapon and struck him during a nighttime drill.
The funeral began shortly after 4 p.m. at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem.
Golovensitz’s brother, one of his four siblings, spoke over the open grave, telling the crowd in a choked voice that he felt he was living “in a dream, I can’t accept it.”
His sister Ruti eulogized him: “My David, my hero, my beautiful boy, you were so beautiful. You were the youngest, but acted like a big brother. You really were my big brother. I learned everything from you.”
“I have no words, I don’t know what to say,” his mother told the gathered crowd over the grave. “For 22 years, I had a privilege, and I thank God for that wonderful gift.”
Golovensitz was shot during a routine platoon drill by his Golani infantry company at around 8 p.m. Tuesday that attempted to simulate a stabbing attack at the Jilber checkpoint, between Hebron’s Palestinian and Jewish neighborhoods.
According to an initial probe of the incident, soldiers participating in the drill neglected to clear their weapons of ammunition prior to starting the drill, in violation of safety regulations.
During the drill, a rifle of one of the soldiers was discharged, hitting Golovensitz in the upper body. Only one bullet was fired, investigators said.
Golovensitz was evacuated in critical condition by helicopter, but later died of his wounds.
Following the accident, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot ordered a halt to all training exercises on Thursday and a review of safety precautions throughout all the IDF’s combat units. The army also launched a full investigation into the incident.
Golovensitz, 22, from the settlement of Efrat, is survived by his parents, two brothers and two sisters. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of first lieutenant.