(Hagar Amibar/Israel Air Force)
Maj. (res.) Eliav Gelman

Thousands of Israelis accompanied Maj. (res.) Eliav Gelman, who was killed during a terrorist attack on Wednesday, as he was laid to rest at the Kfar Etzion cemetery.  

Thousands attended the funeral of Maj. (res.) Eliav Gelman, 30, of Karmei Tsur, who was killed during a terrorist attack in Gush Etzion of Wednesday.

Shortly after noon, Gelman, who was on his way home after serving in the IDF reserves, was attacked by a knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist while waiting for a bus at the Gush Etzion junction. He attempted to return fire. Soldiers from an IDF unit securing the junction saw the Palestinian charging at Gelman and opened fired at the terrorist, striking both him and Gelman. Mortally wounded, Gelman was pronounced dead at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the chest. He was posthumously elevated to the rank of Major.

Eliav grew up in Kiryat Arba and studied at the Mekor Haim Yeshiva, in the Etzion bloc. About four years ago, he settled with his family in Karmei Tsur, in the southern Etzion bloc. He served in the IDF as a paratrooper, becoming an officer. He later served as a liaison officer in the Air Force, from which he was discharged several months ago with the rank of captain.

Gelman’s brother Eyal described him as a deeply religious individual, studying the Bible and Talmud every day.

Gelman funeral

Gelman’s wife and family at the funeral. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A neighbor related that even as a military man, the amount of time he would give his sons was extraordinary, and they were the envy of everyone around. After leaving active service, he devoted a lot of time to his two young sons.

He was the relative of IDF Major Benaya Sarel, one of the most famous IDF commanders killed in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.

Gelman was buried in the Kfar Etzion cemetery. He is survived by his wife Rinat, who is seven months pregnant, their two sons, Yair (5) and Yoav (2) and his parents and siblings.

Reflecting on what had befallen the community of Karmei Tsur, Nati Erenberg, a resident, said that he hoped that the residents could live by the values that guided Eliav throughout his life, adding that despite the difficulties that the community has endured in past attacks, the residents will not be deterred or frightened.

“We will continue to live with our beliefs that this land is ours. We won’t be scared. Our community has already suffered many tragedies, but we will go on and continue to have faith in the soldiers who protect us. We will only be strengthened by this. But at the same time, we will never ever forget the people who fell on the way,” he concluded.

By: United with Israel Staff
TPS contributed to this report