Doctor, reserve soldier found dead in IDF uniform in southern Israel

The doctor was on his way home in uniform from a meeting with his reserves unit before he was found shot to death in the Lahav forest.

Dr. Avi Harlev (photo credit: BARZILAI HOSPITAL)
Dr. Avi Harlev
(photo credit: BARZILAI HOSPITAL)
Avi Harlev, a doctor at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon and a lieutenant colonel (res.) in the IDF, was found on Tuesday night shot to death in the Lahav Forest north of Beersheba, according to Israeli media.
Harlev, 50, from Sansana, a settlement south of Hebron, was the director of the Fertility and IVF Unit at Barzilai and served as a reservist in the 7th Brigade of the Armored Corps, according to Channel 13. He leaves behind a wife, five children and two granddaughters.
The doctor was on his way home in uniform from a meeting with his reserves unit before he was found in the Lahav forest.
The hospital eulogized Harlev as a "beloved person with a wide heart and a captivating personality that impressed and entered the hearts of everyone who knew him - staff and patients alike."
"Harlev gave with all his heart and abilities to his colleagues and patients, and everyone who met him could not help but be impressed by his personal charm and personality," Barzilai said in an announcement. 
"Harlev, a lieutenant colonel (res.), excelled in his field and is considered a prodigy, leader and pioneer," explained the hospital, adding that he was "a renowned expert in gynecology and fertility, one of the founders of the International Society for Repetitive Pregnancy, was heavily involved in research, academia and training interns and students, published dozens of significant scientific articles, was involved in writing and editing medical books, and led the in vitro fertilization unit in Barzilai to unprecedented achievements. He initiated many innovations at the medical center, such as egg donations, fertility preservation and genetic testing for fetuses."
The background of the incident is being investigated, and while the police do not currently suspect that this was a terrorist attack, his family is requesting that the possibility be investigated, according to Ynet.
Yochai Damari, head of the Har Hebron Regional Council, called on security forces to seriously investigate the possibility that the incident was terror-related, as Palestinians illegally entering Israel from the Hebron area pass through the Lahav Forest and "it is not inconceivable that one of them identified a lieutenant colonel with a uniform and decided to attack," he said in a statement on Facebook.
"We received with pain and astonishment the news of the death of the council's resident, the dear Dr. Avi Harlev," said Damari.
"Avi was a man of great stature and more, a family man - a devoted husband, father and grandfather, a well-known and respected figure among his friends and the thousands of patients for whom he devoted himself entirely," added Damari.
"The Harlev family is a long-standing family and one of the founders of Sansana. Alongside his dedicated work as the director of the IVF unit, Avi insisted on continuing his active reserve service for years. Alongside this, he contributed his talent in leading the community. This is a great loss."