The funerals of the three soldiers who were killed by an Egyptian police officer at the Israeli-Egyptian border on Saturday, were held on Sunday afternoon.
Sgt. Lia Ben-Nun's funeral began at 4:30 p.m. at the military cemetery in Rishon Lezion. Ben-Nun was 19 years old and from Rishon Lezion. She was promoted to the rank of sergeant after her death, the IDF announced.
"She was stunning from the outside and the inside, a huge ray of sunshine, full of joy of life. Everyone loved her, there is no one who didn't," Lia's sister Ofir said at the funeral. "We were two sisters, now I'm one. We would understand each other without speaking, she was always here for me and I for her... I want to believe that there was no mistake here. I don't want to be angry with the army, because she loved it so much. She was at peace with what she did and was proud of it."
St.-Sgt. Ohad Dahan was laid to rest at 5 p.m. in the military plot of the cemetery in the southern Israeli town of Ofakim.
Dahan was 20 years old when he was killed. He was from Ofakim and posthumously promoted to staff sergeant from sergeant. Dahan was one of the three soldiers who engaged the terrorist in a firefight, ultimately killing him.
Dahan's partner Dana Salita, paid tribute to him: "How did you leave me, you promised me that you would take care of me. Why didn't keep the promise? Everyone who knows me knows how much I would talk about you everywhere, how proud I was of you. I know how much you were waiting for a clash [with a terrorist], how much you wanted to protect everyone around you. I was waiting for you to call, to tell me about your heroism. You were my strength. I have no words. I came in uniform today, you always said that our uniform is a privilege."
St.-Sgt. Uri Itzhak Ilouz's funeral took place at 5 p.m. at the military cemetery in Safed, in Israel's north. Ilouz was 20 years old when he died and like Dahan, he was posthumously promoted from sergeant.
Uri's sister, Gal, said that he had a hard time in the army, but that he "sacrificed for everyone, cared about everyone." She remembered the first time they had fought in their lives. "We never fought and he came to ask for forgiveness," she said. "My life, I want you here. I didn't think I would lose you. There is a crazy amount of people here, which shows how much of a hero and how loved you are."
The incident on the Israeli-Egyptian border
Sgt. Lia Ben-Nun and St.-Sgt. Uri Itzhak Ilouz were shot and killed early on Saturday morning, while St.-Sgt. Ohad Dahan was killed by the same terrorist several hours later in an exchange of fire.
Ben-Nun and Ilouz were found lifeless at an IDF guard post sometime after 6 a.m. by members of their team who had been sent to check on their wellbeing after they failed to respond to their radios, an initial investigation has shown.
Following the discovery of their bodies, additional reinforcements arrived and a search operation was carried out in order to locate the perpetrator, who was believed to have infiltrated Israel from across the border at some point during the night.
Ariella Marsden and Shira Silkoff contributed to this story.