On the black Shabbat of Oct. 7, Ofir Libstein, the mayor of the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, was one of the first Israelis to be killed by Hamas terrorists while attempting to defend his family.
The story of his murder moved hundreds of Evangelicals, especially those who had met him just one day before at the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem (ICEJ) tree-planting ceremony near the Sha’ar HaNegev High School.
Libstein’s nephew, who is a captain in the IDF, dedicated the destruction of a Hamas terror tunnel network to the memory of his uncle Ofir on Tuesday, exactly one month after the Hamas terror group's massacre in Israel.
“One of the first murdered in this war was my uncle Ofir Libstein, may his memory be a blessing,” Captain R. said in a video of the blast that was released by Israel Defense Forces.
“Ofir took the weapon on Saturday morning and left the house to kill terrorists. He fell in battle and in the defense of the Gaza Envelope… This blast is dedicated to him.”
The Gaza Envelope is a grouping of Israeli communities within 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) of the border with the Gaza Strip.
Captain R. serves as an officer in the IDF’s Combat Engineering Corps special unit, Yahalom (Diamond).
The video shows the explosion of a portion of the terror tunnel system built by Hamas that is estimated to run for hundreds of miles under the Gaza Strip.
“Ofir defined the Gaza Envelope as 95% heaven and 5% hell,” Captain R. continued.
“I want - not as an act of revenge, but as an act of defending the homeland - to dedicate this explosion to Ofir, as one of the efforts to return the Gaza Envelope to 100% of heaven, not to 95%.”
Another officer in the Yahalom Unit, Lt-Col. A., explained that his unit mapped and destroyed part of an offensive tunnel that ran under a residential neighborhood, with an exit located in the living room of one of homes.
The ICEJ released a statement of mourning to honor Libstein, referring to the mayor as “our friend.”
“Ofir Libstein indeed kept his promise to keep the Land of Israel and the Sha’ar HaNegev region, but sadly it came at the cost of his life. His words and his memory will remain with us forever,” the ICEJ statement read.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.