The three IDF soldiers who were killed at the Israeli-Egyptian border on Saturday were identified as Sgt. Lia Ben Nun, St.-Sgt. Ohad Dahan, and St.-Sgt. Uri Itzhak Ilouz, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
The IDF said Ben Nun was 19 years old and from Rishon Lezion. She was promoted to the rank of sergeant after her death.
Last week, Ben Nun posted a video on her Tiktok account detailing her journey as a female combat soldier. Through a series of photos, she detailed the highs and lows of her long training program and the friends she had made along the way.
Ben Nun's former teacher told Walla that Ben Nun had always known that she was going to enlist in the IDF in a combat position.
"She so badly wanted to enlist to combat and she got it, and she was happy. She should be remembered as happy."Noga Adi
"She showed up on Remembrance Day at the school with uniform and her gun and was so happy and showing off that she's doing well," said the teacher, Noga Adi. "She so badly wanted to enlist to combat and she got it, and she was happy. She should be remembered as happy."
Adi added that Ben Nun was "a wonderful, sweet, funny, beautiful, eternally optimistic girl who was always with friends. She was the glue the held all the friends together."
"I refuse to believe that it's you," wrote a friend of Ben Nun's on Instagram. "How do we say goodbye? I already miss you. Take care of us from up there."
"At the beginning, she had a hard time because she wanted to enlist in the Border Police, Ben Nun's commander Shahaf Katz told Ynet. "But very quickly, she fell in love and everyone fell in love with her. She was an incredible soldier, and she was meant to start commander training. She was the heart of the company, and now the whole company is crushed."
Ben-Nun's funeral will take place at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday at the military cemetery in Rishon Lezion.
St.-Sgt. Ohad Dahan
Dahan was 20 and from Ofakim. He was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant from sergeant.
Dahan was one of the three soldiers who engaged the terrorist in a firefight, ultimately killing him.
"We're not surprised that he jumped first and stormed [the terrorist," Dahan's uncle Shaul Dahan told KAN. "He defended everyone with his own body like he was taught. He is our hero. He was obsessed with the army – an outstanding soldier, an outstanding student, and an outstanding son to his parents. He always said 'the brigade commander is my god, I would do everything for him' and he was proud of his combativeness."
"He was educated to love the country and care for the state," said Dahan's cousin Noam. "He was an outstanding student and always helped everyone. He will stay young forever. We are waiting for the investigation to understand what happened.
MK Almog Cohen said in a statement that he knows Dahan's family personally.
"This is a Zionist family who loves the people and the country and raised Ohad on those values," he said.
Shortly after the IDF publicized Dahan's name, the Ofakim Municipality put out a statement of condolences.
"Ofakim is mourning and pained by the death of IDF soldier St.-Sgt. Ohad Dahan, a resident of the city, during a firefight on the Egyptian border," said the statement. "Dear Ohad worked courageously to locate the Egyptian terrorist who killed two soldiers and kill him."
The statement added that representatives of the municipality had been sent to support the family.
Ohad will be laid to rest on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Ofakim cemetery military plot.
St.-Sgt. Uri Itzhak Ilouz
The third soldier was identified as St.-Sgt. Uri Itzhak Ilouz who was 20 years old and from Safed. Like Dahan, he was posthumously promoted from sergeant.
Ilouz leaves behind parents, two sisters, and a brother.
"A heavy and terrible sadness has befallen the city," said Safed Mayor Shuki Ohana. "Uri Ilouz, salt of the earth and a graduate from a local high school, did a year of national service in the Ma'ase Mechina. He enlisted in March of last year for meaningful military service in the Bardelas Battalion on the Egyptian border and finished a commanders course and was supposed to begin an officers course.
"There are no words that can comfort parents burying their child, no words that can explain the unimaginable pain. I, together with the entire city, share in the grief of the family - Shai and Liat Ilouz, Uri's sisters Eden and Gal and his brother Noam."
Ilouz's funeral will take place at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the military cemetery in Safed.