Sergeant Gadi Musayeb, 20, from Akko, was the commander of the tank that hit the landmine. Ever since word of his death broke out, dozens of friends, neighbors and relatives have been flocking into the house of Eliezer and Rosa, Gadi's parents, to support them during the difficult hours.
Ilan Fruman, one of Gadi's high school teachers, spoke of a charming young man "who stood out above his peers, both as a student and in his friendly and humane behavior."
"The number of friends that have gathered near his parents' house testifies to how popular and loved he was," he added.
The price of Zionism
Sergeant Yaniv Baron, 20, from Macabbim, was born to Canadian and South-African-born parents, Caroline and Asher, who came to Israel years ago as enthusiastic Zionists. Yaniv is survived by two siblings, Eitan and Hadas.
Yaakov Shlisel, a friend of the family, told Ynet: "This is a Zionist family. They had many opportunities to return abroad, but they are Zionists and this is the price they pay. Yaniv was a quiet, modest and introverted young man who did what he was asked to do… this is a great loss… we are shocked by what happened."
'Dedicated to the IDF'
The Ramat Eliyahu neighborhood in Rishon Letzion went into mourning Wednesday when the death of Shlomi Yirmiyahu, a local resident, became known. Shlomi, who had served for two years in the Armored Corps, celebrated his 20th birthday only two weeks ago. His parents, Ruti and David, and two young siblings, were left behind to deal with the tragedy.
Shlomi's aunt, Mazal Yifrach, said her nephew was dedicated to the army. "He had back and knee problems, but refused to give up his army service. All day long were had hoped he is one of the injured, until word if his death came."
In four-month time, Alexei Kushnirsky was set to be discharged from the army and have already started making plans for studies with his girlfriend Shir next year. Alexei, the fourth victim of the Wednesday's tank catastrophe, is survived by his two parents and an 18-year-old sister.
"He was a guy who just loved to contribute to the army and society as a whole," Shir said in tears. "We have been together for a year and-a-half, and were already waiting for his discharge so that we can start studying and plan for the wedding."
"I always spoke with Alexei about the danger and my fear about him serving in such dangerous places. But he was dedicated to his soldiers. He was simply an admired commander who loved his troops," she added.
Eli Senior contributed to the report