Hundreds of mourners paid their last respects to Capt. Natan Cohen, who was buried in Modi’in on Wednesday evening.
The 23-year-old was a company commander in the Armored Corps and was one of two soldiers killed Tuesday evening in Gaza, according to the IDF Spokesman’s Office.
He was given a posthumous promotion from lieutenant.
Cohen, described by friends as “always happy,” was to be married in October to his fiancée of five years, Tal. The two had planned their dream wedding, and she had even picked out her dress, she told reporters on Wednesday.
“He was an amazing person,” Tal said. “People who knew him admired him. He always looked at things in a positive way, always tried to find solutions to problems, and I believe that even now he would want us to find solutions to problems.”
She added that the two had waited “a long time” to finally tie the knot and that both their families had been excited.
According to Tal, Cohen had not been home for a month and a half, and when he was granted a half-day’s leave for his 23rd birthday he surprised his fiancée so the two could celebrate together.
Tal told reporters that they had developed a code word should he be deployed to Gaza.
“He sent me this word, wrote that he loved me and that we would speak later, and that’s it,” she said.
In Modi’in, residents took the news of Cohen’s death hard, as he was the second soldier from the city to fall this week.
“This is a difficult morning for our city,” Modi’in Mayor Haim Bibas said Wednesday.
“We had not even come to terms with the death of Lt.- Col. Dolev KeIdar, of blessed memory, and a short time ago another resident’s name was cleared for publication.
On behalf of the residents of Modi’in we send out condolences and a big hug to the Cohen family and pray that this will be the last fallen of the IDF.”
Natan Cohen is survived by his parents and four siblings.