Capt. Liad Lavi, 22, of Moshav Sde Nitzan, who was fatally wounded during fighting in the southern Gaza Strip with his paratroop unit Thursday night, was buried in Meitar, near Beersheba on Monday.

Lavi’s unit was engaged by a Hamas cell, and he was struck by a bullet in the ensuing firefight. He died of his wounds at the Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba on Shabbat and was laid to rest in the military section of the Meitar cemetery.

Lavi’s former teacher spoke warmly of him, describing her pupil as unique and much loved.

“Liad was a very energetic pupil, playful, beloved by many, very clever, intelligent, wise, full of curiosity and intelligence, special, unusual and very sociable,” she told Ma’ariv Online.

“He entered your heart and didn’t leave. He had playful eyes, blue eyes, which swallowed you up... I was very proud when I heard he joined a combat unit.”

His brother Shai, described Liad as an ambitious person who never gave up.

“He was sociable, ambitious, established a goal and never gave up on it,” he said, and spoke of how he had given him confidence to become a martial-arts champion.

“He listened to me and trained with me at every opportunity... At the hospital I met with his friends, who told me he was very proud of me. We were good friends, I miss him already.”

Liad’s father, Shmulik, spoke of a recent ski trip they took together in Austria, and how much he had enjoyed it.

Lavi was posthumously promoted from first lieutenant to captain. He is survived by his parents and six brothers.

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