ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Those We Have Lost

Sgt. Maj. Omri Michaeli, 35: Killed while rescuing hostages

Fell in Kfar Aza attempting to save hostages, October 7, 2023

Poster created by Sgt. Major (Res) Omri Michaeli’s family, soliciting memories from attendees at his October 11, 2023 funeral in Nes Ziona. (ToI)
Poster created by Sgt. Major (Res) Omri Michaeli’s family, soliciting memories from attendees at his October 11, 2023 funeral in Nes Ziona. (ToI)

Omri Michaeli, 35, became briefly famous during the last Gaza war in 2014, when a photograph of him injured and on a stretcher, wrapped in an Israeli flag, appeared on the front page of the mass circulation daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot.

On Saturday, the reserves sergeant major in the undercover Duvdevan unit was killed in Kfar Aza.

A former fellow fighter, opposition lawmaker Chili Tropper, said Michaeli had been killed while rescuing hostages.

Tropper said Michaeli, from the central Israeli town of Nes Ziona (though originally from Kibbutz Kfar Ruppin in the north of the country), had received a citation for bravery from the IDF Chief of Staff for his actions during the 2014’s Operation Protective Edge, when he jumped on top of his friend and shielded him with his body to protect him from a grenade.

A terrorist had come out of a house in Gaza’s Khan Yunis and shot him in the thigh and a comrade in the knee. He refused to evacuate until his friend was out of danger.

“Even when he was injured, he carried on fighting,” Tropper recalled.

Twice injured in previous battles, his final known text was, “lightning doesn’t strike three times.”

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