The father of IDF Staff Sergeant Nathan Fitoussi, who died in a friendly fire incident in the West Bank said Wednesday he was the one who inspired the family to make Aliyah from France.
Fitoussi, a 20-year-old resident of the central city of Netanya, served in the Kfir Brigade and was stationed near the West Bank city of Tulkarm. He was shot dead on Monday after his comrade-in-arms mistook him for an attacker.
"We did it for the kids. Nathan always said God chose us to make Aliyah," Yosef Fitoussi said. "It was a big change for him, and he loved the country. He decided he wanted to enlist to the IDF, and serve in a combat unit. He wanted to help, he always gave and cared for others. With God by our side we weren't afraid.
"Nathan left his friend to pray on a nearby hill, alone, and returned about 20 minutes later, around 10:30pm. He didn't want anyone near him when he prayed. He had a special bond with God," Yosef added.
Yosef also said that whenever Nathan watched the news, he always said he would want to see unity in Israel. "Only united we can fight-off our enemies."
His parents preferred not to talk about the soldier who shot him, and said that they haven't spoken to him yet.
Meir Fitoussi, a relative of the family, said Wednesday morning that "Nathan was always close to his father and always had a smile."
He told Ynet that Nathan "wanted to get to serve as a combat soldier, and his father didn't resist. I remember the moment he enlisted to the IDF, he was so happy, and even threw a party, he was so proud.
"What happened with his comrade-in-arms was a tragedy, because he was also a friend of the family, he would come home with Nathan for weekends."
The military said the incident was being further investigated, but a preliminary probe indicates Fitoussi was shot after he briefly left his guard post to pray and was mistaken for an intruder upon his return by a fellow soldier, who opened fire at him, hitting him at least twice.