The eighth day of rocket bombardment from Hamas resulted in the killing of an Israeli man who had gone to the Israel-Gaza border to bring food and good will to members of the Israel Defense Force.
The man, identified as 37-year-old Dror Chanin, was at the Erez Crossing when he was struck by a mortar shell and shrapnel. He was rushed to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where he was pronounced dead—the first Jewish fatality since the violence began.
Earlier in the day, Israelis had been hoping to see the last of the rocket fire from Gaza, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had accepted a cease-fire proposal from Egypt.
Hamas, however, reportedly called the proposal a “joke,” and the rockets continued to fly, with some landing throughout southern Israel.
Early reports on Twitter and online news sites from Israel suggested that he was a Chabad rabbi. The speculation may have come because volunteers from the Chabad Terror Victims Project have been in the news going to the frontlines to visit, pray with and deliver food to the soldiers.
However, within a half-hour, Chabad was able to account for all of its volunteers and said the man killed was not associated with the project.
“We are deeply saddened, and our hearts go out to the family of this brave man who was helping the soldiers during this hour of such great danger in Israel,” said Rabbi Yossi Swerdlov of the Chabad Terror Victims Project. “Of course, we are marching forward, and will be there tomorrow and every day until the rockets stop falling on Israel.
“We will continue our work on the front lines and in the bomb shelters and, in fact, in light of the last hour’s developments, we are increasing our work. The Rebbe [Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory] taught us that the way to comfort is to increase your support and to continue building.
“We pray that there will be no more loss of life, and that peace will be restored to Israel very soon.”