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Photo by: Israel Defense Forces
J'lem: Soldier killed during Eilat attacks laid to rest
By JPOST.COM STAFF, TOVAH LAZAROFF
19/08/2011
Thousands gather at Mount Herzl for funeral of St.-Sgt. Moshe Naftali; "I just want to kiss him," his grandfather tells friends.
 
Hundreds of people gathered on Friday morning at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery, for the funeral of St.-Sgt. Moshe Naftali, who he was killed on Thursday responding to the terrorist attacks near Eilat.

US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro and his wife Julie were among the hundreds of mourners who crowded around the grave.

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Soldiers marched the flag draped coffin to the grave, as family screamed and cried. "I just want to kiss him," his grandfather told friends.

Then he bent down and kissed the coffin, before it was lowered into the grave as a rabbi recited psalms.

Family members hugged each other, some put their hands over their faces, as bags of earth were poured on the grave.

Shula Naftali, Moshe's mother, said on Thursday "I know as a mother that he fought bravely and fiercely, I have no doubt about it.”

“Moshe, my beloved son, did everything with dedication and perseverance, and we are proud of him,” she told the media after hearing the news of his death.

A resident of Ofra, Naftali, 22, graduated from the yeshiva high school in Beit El and studied at Moshav Keshet on the Golan Heights before joining the Golani Brigade.

A high-school friend of Naftali’s said he did not imagine that he knew one of the victims of the attacks when he heard about them on the radio.

But then a friend called to tell him that Naftali, whom he had hung out with and laughed with throughout high school, had been killed.

“He was everyone’s friend. Everyone loved him,” Yedidya Amrani said.

Naftali will be buried on Friday at 10 a.m. at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery. He was one of eight victims of the attacks.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the bereaved families in the brief remarks he made to the media on Thursday night.

“I would like to express my condolences to the families of the civilians murdered, and to those of the soldiers who fell while responding to today’s terrorist attacks,” he said.

“I share their pain. I know that their lives will never be the same. I also want to express my hopes for a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in these attacks and are currently undergoing treatment in hospital.”

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