Elite IDF soldier dies of wounds sustained during arrest operation

The soldier was hit on the head by a slab of marble thrown from a third-story rooftop.

May 26, 2018 20:28
2 minute read.
Elite IDF soldier dies of wounds sustained during arrest operation

Ronen Lubarsky Z"L. (photo credit: INGIMAGE + IDF SPOKESPERSON)


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A 20-year-old IDF soldier from the elite Duvdevan unit wounded on Thursday during an arrest operation in the West Bank has died, the army stated on Saturday.

Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky from the central Israeli city of Rehovot and a combat soldier in the elite Duvdevan commando unit was seriously wounded when he was hit on the head by a large slab of marble during an operation aimed at arresting a terror cell involved in recent shooting attacks.  

He received initial emergency medical attention in the field and transferred to intensive care at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Karem.

A IDF official stated that Lubarsky was wearing full protective gear and standing close to one of the homes in the al-Ama’ari refugee camp in Ramallah and that his helmet was “destroyed” after he was initially hit by the slab which was thrown from a third-story rooftop.

During the operation one suspect was arrested during the operation and another two arrested Thursday evening. All suspects were taken in for questioning by Shin Bet.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman sent condolences to the family on Twitter Thursday morning, and wrote that the terrorist will be arrested.

“Duvdevan, one of our elite units, is carrying out multiple arrests every night in an endless war, which receives no fame and publicity. I wish to send condolences in the name of Israel to the family and closely follow efforts to stop the terrorist. We will bring justice to Ronen.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement expressing “deep sadness” at Lubarsky's death and sending condolences to his family. “The security forces will apprehend the terrorist and Israel will bring him to justice,” he said.

Former Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Lt.-Gen.(res) Moshe Ya'alon also sent his condolences to Lubarsky’s family and friends, tweeting that “along with the entirety of Israel, I bow and salute the warrior St.Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky, who was seriously injured in an operational mission against terrorism, so that we could all continue to live. I Send my condolences and a fierce embrace to his family and his friends in the unit. May his memory be blessed!”

The IDF carries out near nightly raids across the West Bank, detaining Palestinian suspects wanted for terror attacks, illegal weapons possession, and other security related offenses. According to a report released in March by various Palestinian prisoners rights group the IDF arrested 1,319 Palestinians during the months of January and February 2018.

The army said it had launched an investigation into the incident and that the assailant had not been arrested or shot because he had not been identified by troops.

On Thursday Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman took to his Twitter account, calling the incident “very grave” and vowing to catch the terrorist.

"We consider the incident to be very grave. The bastard terrorist who harmed him will not know rest. It will not be long before we will get our hands on him—dead or alive."

Lubarsky was posthumously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

As per the request of Lubarsky's family, who is religious, he will be buried Sunday at 2 a.m. on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report.

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