IDF Soldier Laid to Rest amid Ongoing Manhunt_flash90Photo: Flash 90

IDF Soldier Laid to Rest amid Ongoing Manhunt

Israeli security forces are continuing their manhunt for the presumed perpetrators of the deadly act of terror near the Jewish West Bank Settlement Bloc of Gush Etzion, where the body of IDF soldier, Corporal Dvir Sorek, was discovered.

According to details of the investigation that were cleared for publication, the current assessment is that the murder was not the result of a kidnapping attempt, and the investigation has narrowed its focus to intelligence gathering.

The Israeli Security Agency, Shin Bet, in cooperation with the IDF and Police, has reportedly attained concrete findings and leads that narrowed their search operations to the city of Hebron and surrounding villages of the southern West Bank.

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of 19-year-old Dvir Sorek, who was formally an IDF soldier but was on leave for the purpose of attending a Jewish Yeshiva Seminary College.

The funeral was held at the Jewish Settlement of Ofra last night, where the family of the soldier resides. The family, who also lost Dvir’s grandfather – Rabbi Binyamin Herling – in an act of terror some 19 years ago, said it decided to donate the soldier’s organs for patients awaiting transplants.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received an elaborate briefing at the military’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, after which he visited the site of the attack, where the commander of the IDF’s Central Command, Major General Nadav Padan provided the Israeli leader with another briefing at the scene, north of the city of Hebron. Once again, Netanyahu took the opportunity to relay his heartfelt condolences to the Sorek family, which is the latest victim in Israel’s continued struggle to security the Jewish Homeland. According the Israeli Prime Minister: “I said this morning that the Land of Israel is acquired through agony. Today, we lost at this location Dvir, a dear son of the Sorek family, which also lost the grandfather, Rabbi Binyamin Herling (in another terror attack) some years ago. Our heart is with them. We embrace them in this difficult hour.”

With regard to the ongoing manhunt, the Israeli leader vowed to bring those responsible to justice, while insisting that the answer to those who come to destroy us, must always be our unrelenting eagerness to build. Netanyahu said: “Our answer to these murderers is two-fold: Firstly, they come to destroy, we build. Secondly, we will put our hands on them and make them pay. The investigation is advancing, it’s at its peak, I can only tell you that we see here the turn of the car (wheels) after the act of crime and murder. I also point out to you that in recent years, security forces led by the Shin-Bet have found all the murderers. And I have no doubt, also based on what I’ve heard that we will also put our hands on whoever committed this atrocious murder. We will make them and those who sent them pay.”

Meanwhile in the Gaza Strip; the Islamist Hamas organization released a statement in which it hailed the unknown perpetrators for the murder of the IDF soldier – insisting that it served as a “most powerful response to talk of an (Israeli) attempt to annex the West Bank.” The statement further read: “It is the decision of our people to expel the occupier from the West Bank. It proves that our intifada (the Arabic word for an armed popular uprising) still continues in the West Bank and that the young people will not end their struggle until the occupation is lifted and the (Jewish) settlers are expelled.”

Joining Hamas in its support for the deadly act of terror, the Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised the perpetrators, saying it was “heroic and conveyed an important message.”

Despite those responses to the attack, no Palestinian organization has yet to claim responsibility deadly act of terror.