A man of courage

"He would go to Sderot all the time to fix the company's computers," another said. "He was not afraid to go there and never expressed any apprehension."

By SHELLY PAZ
May 28, 2007 02:25
3 minute read.
casualties of war special

cow.article. (photo credit: )

Oshri Oz, a 36-year-old Hod Hasharon resident, was killed on Sunday morning when a Kassam rocket landed near his car in Sderot. Oz was the 10th Israeli to be killed in rocket barrages from the Gaza Strip. The Kassam that ended Oz's life landed 30 centimeters from his vehicle, spraying him with shrapnel and fatally wounding him. Oz then lost control of the car and crashed into a wall. With severe injuries to his chest and neck, Oz managed to get out of the car and take a few steps before collapsing on the road. Within a minute of the attack, Magen David Adom paramedics arrived to evacuate Oz to Ashkelon's Barzilai Medical Center, where he died. Oz, a computer technician, traveled to Sderot several times a week as part of his work for the Peretz Bonei HaNegev company. Oz's friends said Sunday that even when the number of Kassam attacks rose, he kept working in the town, showing no fear. He was "a man of courage," one said, noting that his name, Oz, means strength in Hebrew. "He would go to Sderot all the time to fix the company's computers," another said. "He was not afraid to go there and never expressed any apprehension." Oz is survived by his wife, who is six months pregnant, and his three-year-old daughter. Upon being informed of her husband's death, his wife collapsed and was taken to the hospital, where she was kept for observation. During his military service, Oz served as a coordinator for overseas volunteers. Another person was lightly wounded in the attack. Several people were treated for shock. "I heard the Color Red siren and then the whistle over my head. The Kassam's explosion shook the entire house. I went out to see what had happened and saw a man lying on the road," said Riki Ben-David, who lives near the scene of the attack. "Fortunately, I sent two of my children out of town. Only my older son, Eran, was at home when the Kassam fell next to our home. The house's windows were broken, but thank God, nothing more than that," said Aviva, who lives next to where the rocket landed. Dana Machlouf, a mother of five-month-old twins, was certain that her husband had been the man initially reported in serious condition. She tried to reach him on the phone, and when she could not get hold of him, she rushed to the scene in tears, leaving her sons with a neighbor. "My husband comes here a lot. Aviva is a good friend of ours, so I was sure he was here. He also has the same type of car," she said after she finally reached him and was calmed down by her friends. Southern District Police chief Cmdr. Uri Bar-Lev emphasized Thursday that "the rescue forces are prepared and deployed in each one of Sderot's sectors to provide an immediate response in case of a Kassam attack. A quick response can be life-saving in these Kassam attacks." The rocket that killed Oz was one of six that hit the western Negev town on Sunday. In the early morning, a Kassam slammed into a newly-built community center. In the evening, a Kassam struck the home of the Hazan family - the second time a rocket has hit their house. David Hazan and his 15-year-old son were both at home when they heard the siren sound, and managed to rush into the security room. A moment after they closed the door to the room, a Kassam rocket scored a direct hit on their house. One person was treated for shock; the rocket crashed through the front porch and the exterior wall, pock-marking the house's fa ade with shrapnel before coming to rest on the floor. The Color Red alarm caught hundreds of Sderot's children waiting for buses to take them to schools outside the town. The children panicked when they heard the alarm and the explosions that followed. "Why should I send her to wait for the bus outside, unprotected?" asked one mother. "Even though we don't have a secure room in our house, I'd rather have her next to me where I can see her. I don't let her out of my sight." Rebecca Anna Stoil contributed to this report.


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