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'I’m not a father now. I’m nothing'

‘My son is a hero’: Hundreds attend funeral for soldier killed in West Bank raid

Father of Amit Ben-Ygal mourns loss of only son, saying ‘I don’t have anything else’; defense minister vows troops will ‘find the terrorist’ who perpetrated attack

Family and friends attend the funeral of IDF soldier Amit Ben-Ygal at the cemetery in the central city of Beer Yaakov, May 12, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Family and friends attend the funeral of IDF soldier Amit Ben-Ygal at the cemetery in the central city of Beer Yaakov, May 12, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Hundreds of people on Tuesday attended the funeral of Israel Defense Forces soldier Amit Ben-Ygal, who was killed overnight during a raid in the West Bank.

The funeral was held at the military cemetery in the central city of Beer Yaakov.

“I love you so much. My son is a hero,” Ben-Ygal’s mother, Nava Revivo, cried out over his grave, according to Channel 12 news. “I’ll be strong. Guard us from above.”

“You changed my life. My firstborn child. My beloved child. Your sisters don’t understand what’s happening. We’ll preserve your memory, your happiness, your love,” she said.

Ben-Ygal’s father also eulogized the slain soldier, his only child.

“Amit isn’t an only child. He has millions of other siblings who are sad, who admire [him] and who know our lives in the Land of Israel depend on the courage of Amit and his friends,” Baruch Ben-Ygal said.

Sgt. First Class Amit Ben-Ygal, who was killed when a rock was thrown at his head during an arrest raid in the northern West Bank village of Yabed on May 12, 2020. (Social media)

“I don’t have anything else. I don’t have any other children. My only son,” he said. “I’m not a father now. I’m nothing. What a price I have paid.”

Lone children are not usually allowed into combat units, especially dangerous ones, without special permission from their parents. Ben-Ygal’s father granted him special permission to serve in a combat unit. Revivo has two other children from a second marriage.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett spoke at the funeral as the representative of the government.

“Golani soldiers, you’ll go back to fighting and find the terrorist and wicked [person] who did this and together we’ll defeat our enemies,” he said.

Family and friends attend the funeral of IDF soldier Amit Ben-Ygal at the cemetery in the central city of Beer Yaakov, May 12, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Ben-Ygal, a member of the Golani Brigade’s reconnaissance unit, was struck in the head by a large stone or brick during an operation in the Palestinian village of Yabed in the northern West Bank.

IDF troops detained over 10 residents from the building where the block was thrown.

They are not necessarily suspected of having perpetrated the attack, but were brought in for questioning due to living in the building where the attack was carried out, an army spokesperson said.

Family and friends attend the funeral of Sgt. First Class Amit Ben-Ygal who was killed after being struck in the head by a large rock during a military operation earlier this morning, at the cemetery in Be’er Ya’akov, May 12, 2020. (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Ben-Ygal was killed one month before the end of his service.

The 21-year-old from the central city of Ramat Gan was the first IDF soldier to be killed in action in 2020. He was posthumously promoted from staff sergeant to sergeant first class.

The mass gathering at the military burial appeared to be in violation of the government’s coronavirus regulations, which caps the number of people at funerals at 50 and requires mourners to keep distance from one another.

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