Israel will track down those responsible for the deadly shooting attack on St.-Sgt. Gal (Gabriel) Kobi in Hebron, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz vowed on Monday in Tel Aviv. Security forces in Hebron continue to seek out the sniper who shot dead the soldier guarding the city’s Jewish Quarter.
“I have no doubt we’ll get to those who carried out these crimes,” Gantz added.
Kobi, of Tirat Hacarmel, was laid to rest at the Haifa military cemetery on Monday, accompanied by bereaved family members, thousands of mourners from his town and fellow soldiers from the Givati infantry brigade.
The fallen soldier’s uncle, Aryeh Davi, told Channel 10, “Gal was a kid who was loved here by everyone.”
Describing him as quiet, the uncle said Kobi would always offer his help to others.
“At the end of Yom Kippur, he told his father, ‘Let’s build a succa.’ He then returned to base, and told his father that he would be home for Simhat Torah, God willing,” Davi said.
Kobi’s friends said that he lovingly cared for his younger brother during home leaves from the army.
“This week we lost two of our soldiers,” Gantz said, speaking from army headquarters, “and our hearts ache with the bereaved families.
“These terror attacks remind us that even when things seem quiet on the surface, the IDF and its commanders are always dealing with a reality of operational readiness.”
He added that “this tragic series of incidents does not constitute a trend. We are working to ensure that the situation does not escalate and become a trend. We’ve increased our forces in the area and we are on guard.”
Earlier, Gantz said that there must always be a gap between evaluations and readiness and that the military must be prepared for worse situations than those deemed likely by security assessments.
Overnight on Monday the IDF bolstered its troops in Hebron and increased patrols and security raids.
The army arrested two terrorism suspects in Hebron as part of its increase in security sweeps. They were taken into custody overnight, but are not believed to be directly connected to Kobi’s death.
A senior security source said the arrests are part of a firmer IDF policy in Hebron as a result of Sunday’s deadly attack.
The two suspects were found to be in possession of hunting rifles, and are being questioned by security forces.
“There were numerous searches and patrols overnight,” the source said.
“Currently we are back to a more routine pattern, and are securing the Jewish community as it marks the [Succot] holidays.”