Critically injured IDF officer dies more than 2 years after Gaza war

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israel Defense Forces officer who was critically wounded during the 2014 Gaza War died of his wounds.

Maj. Hagai Ben-Ari of Moshav Nov, a village on the Golan Heights, died Tuesday, more than two years after what Israel dubbed Operation Protective Edge.

Ben-Ari, 31, a captain in the Paratroopers Brigade, suffered a severe brain injury from a Gaza sniper on July 21, 2014, days after the start of the operation. He never regained consciousness.

Shortly before the start of the Gaza war, Ben-Ari had been named the new commander of the elite Paratroopers’ sayeret, or reconnaissance, unit. He had not taken up the position at the time of his injury.

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He is survived by his wife and three young children.

A year after his injury he was moved back to his home on the moshav with medical equipment, where many of his friends and former army comrades continued to visit him, Ynet reported.

He is the 68th soldier killed in the Gaza war.

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