Thousands attended the funeral on Tuesday in the Druse village of Daliat al-Carmel of Chief Warrant Officer Lotfi Nasr a-Din, 38, who was killed late Monday night when a mortar shell struck an IDF base near Nahal Oz.
Five other soldiers were wounded in the attack, two of them seriously. Nasr a-Din, the IDF said, was killed as he was walking in the base, when the mortar shell landed nearby.
He is survived by his wife, Hanan, and a daughter who is to turn five later this week.
A friend of the family said Nasr a-Din had been looking forward to celebrating his beloved daughter's birthday.
"She was his life, his soul," the friend said.
Nasr a-Din's grandfather, former Likud MK Amal Nasr a-Din, noted that he had been named after his uncle, who was killed in a gunfight with terrorists in the Jordan Valley in 1969.
"We Druse believe that God gives and God takes," his tearful grandfather said. "We didn't even know he was serving in the South. I thought he was at a base in the Golan Heights."
Lotfi was "an educated, cultured man who loved everyone and was loved by everyone," he added.
Amal Nasr a-Din became an MK when the Likud won the elections for the ninth Knesset in 1977 under Menachem Begin. He served in the Knesset for 12 years.