Staff Sgt. Ben Rubinshtain, 20, an instructor in the special forces LOTAR counterterrorism unit, was killed fighting in southern Israel on October 7.
Rubinshtain, the son of Ido and Galit, grew up in Hod Hasharon, and was a sports lover who previously worked as a soccer referee in the city. The soccer referee union recalled him as “a charming guy, smiling, loved the land and devoted his life to the army. He opted to take up an important military role and save refereeing for after the army.”
According to eyewitness accounts, Rubinshtain battled bravely against multiple terrorists seeking to murder civilians in Sderot, taking down a group of Hamas operatives.
Mike Sa’al, a resident of Sderot, visited the grieving Rubinshtain family during the mourning period and recounted the terrors of that Saturday morning: “There was a cell of about five terrorists in our yard, and your Ben died as he was fighting for the entire neighborhood, he saved close to 40-50 people there,” he said in a meeting recorded and shared by Channel 14. “If not for Ben I don’t know where we would be today.”
— עכשיו 14 (@Now14Israel) October 15, 2023
Ido, Ben’s father, told Mike and his father, Yigal, that he was proud of his son for his actions and happy to hear that he saved lives.
“I want to tell you, that I’m happy for what happened, Ben did exactly what he was supposed to, and he acted just like he was taught to act,” Ido said, as Yigal vigorously shook his head next to him. “I’m very proud of him,” Ido added, saying that he would remember “the light of his face, his love for the land, his love for the people.”