Maj. Yochai Kalangel, 25, who was killed in Wednesday's Hezbollah attack against IDF soldiers near the Lebanese border was laid to rest at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on Thursday.Thousands of people arrived to honor Kalangel who was killed along with St.-Sgt. Dor Haim Nini when Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon attacked IDF vehicles traveling in the village of Ghajar in the Galilee panhandle with Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles. Kalangel grew up in the West Bank settlement of Elazar in Gush Etzion, and leaves behind a wife, Tali, and their one-year-old child. He is one of six siblings, and on Independence Day this year he was awarded a General Staff commendation for excellence.
Tamir, Yochai’s brother, told reporters that Yochai, or “Joha” as the family knew him, “was a giant of a man, salt of the earth, a great warrior.”A former high school teacher of Kalangel’s, Na’ama Tal Cohen-Landau, said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that he was a challenging, at times rebellious student, but one beloved by his friends.“It was clear to any who met him, including myself, that he would go a long way,” she said.The head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, David Pearl, referred to Kalangel on Wednesday as “a real hero and a wonderful family man.”The other IDF soldier killed in the Hezbollah attack, St.-Sgt. Dor Haim Nini, 20, from Shtulim, was laid to rest in the cemetery of his home village later on Thursday. Limor Avizard, Nini’s cousin, said on Wednesday that Dor “was a king, an Israeli hero. He got through Operation Protective Edge bravely. Any time we would call him, he would say, ‘Don’t worry, everything’s okay. It’s no big deal.’” Dror Shor, the head of the Be’er Tuviya Regional Council where Shtulim is located, said Nini’s family was one of the oldest in the moshav and that the death of Dor, “a wonderful boy,” is “a disaster which is hard to describe.”
Funeral of IDF officer killed by Hezbollah