Ronen Lubarsky, an Israel Defense Forces’ soldier from the elite Duvdevan army unit, was laid to rest on Sunday morning at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery. The 20-year-old from Rehovot passed away two days after a large slab of marble was dropped on him during a mission to arrest terrorists.
Lubarsky was brought to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center in critical condition on Thursday, when supporters of terror suspects in al-Am’ari refugee camp near Ramallah dropped a marble slab on his head from the third story of a building on Thursday morning. The IDF reported that he had been wearing a helmet.
The army posthumously promoted him to the rank of staff sergeant.
His commander, Lt. Col. A., called him “the son of a family of warriors, the salt of the earth.”
“While we prayed by your bedside at the hospital, your mother pointed at family members and said, ‘they’re all warriors, but Ronen is the best,’ ” he said. “Your mother was right. You were among the finest fighters in the unit.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin both reached out to Lubarsky’s family to express condolences. Netanyahu said Israeli security forces “will get to the terrorist and the State of Israel will bring him to justice.”
Rivlin said he had spoken with the family while Lubarsky was hospitalized, and said “we are greatly pained to send our sympathies as we share in this great tragedy.” He also thanked “the wonderful fighters and commanders of his unit, the best of our young men, who go out every night on missions that ensure we are able to continue our day-to-day lives in safety.”
Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued his condolences “to the family in the family of the entire nation of Israel” and praised the Duvdevan unit—“one of our elite units, [which] every night carries out many arrests in an endless war.”
During Lubarsky’s mission, one member of a terror cell charged with recent shootings was caught, and two others later in the day, based on intelligence obtained in coordination with Shin Bet security services.
The army noted that operations in Judea and Samaria are dangerous, and that troops are often targeted during operations with heavy items such as furniture, refrigerators and washing machines.