Israel Defense Forces soldier Netanel Maman, who was hit by shrapnel in a rocket attack near Ashdod, died Friday, raising the Israeli death toll in the Gaza conflict to 71. Maman died three days after Israel and Hamas agreed on a cease-fire.
Maman, 22, had been fighting in Gaza during the recent campaign, and last Thursday came home for the weekend. Maman and his younger brother, Tamir, who serves in the Israeli Air Force, decided to make a quick run to a gas station near their home in Gan Yavne to buy cigarettes. Their father, a member of the Gan Yavne municipal council, tried to dissuade them from going, but they insisted.
The siren warning of an incoming rocket sounded as the two were stopped at a traffic light, their brother-in-law recounted. Tamir managed to flee the car and take cover, but Netanel did not make it out of the car. The Grad-type rocket exploded nearby, sending shrapnel flying in their direction. Netanel sustained shrapnel wounds mainly to the neck and head and was critically injured. His brother sustained light injuries and was released from the hospital the same day.