Israeli Soldier from 罗克维尔市 Killed While Fighting Near Lebanese Border

上士. 俄梅珥Balva, 22,who grew up in 罗克维尔市 and became a dual Israeli-American citizen after graduating from Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (JDS)  in 罗克维尔市, was 杀了 Friday while serving along the Israeli border with Lebanon.

莉莉, a classmate and close friend since kindergarten,  described him as a loving and caring person who could be humorous and still serious.

Balva was 杀了 in an anti-tank missile attack as part of clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He was a platoon commander in the 9203 battalion of the Alexandroni brigade.

“Everywhere he went, he was really loved,” said 莉莉. MCM is not using her last name for security reasons. 每个人都喜欢他. I never found anyone who didn’t love him, which is pretty rare,”她说。.

Balva, who had attended JDS since he was seven years old, and 莉莉 were among six students in the 2019 class at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School (JDS) to join the Israel Defense Force (IDF) upon their graduation.

They joined as lone soldiers, meaning without family in Israel, although Balva’s family was Israeli and he spoke Hebrew at home.

When the two moved to Israel and were neighbors in the same kibbutz for a time, 莉莉 said they became family.

According to a post from the school while he was still in high school, “俄梅珥Balva sees his future in Israel and, for the love of his Jewish homeland, wants to serve in the IDF alongside his peers. He is looking forward to living in Israel for the first time ever and having members of his family so close by.”

While at JDS, he played soccer and was involved in the theater program.

While training for the IDF, Balva was always supportive of everyone in his group. “He always picked the group up,”她说。, recalling a time when she was running slowly, 落后于其他人, and he pulled her along.

“We had this mutual understanding that we were there for each other. I just felt safer,” 莉莉 recalled.

It wasn’t just 莉莉 he looked out for, she said. “He really took the time to take care of his soldiers.”

She fondly remembered a time during high school when their class was in Israel during that country’s memorial day. While all the students were respectful, 莉莉 said both she and Balva were deeply moved. “The two of us just knew” we would live in Israel someday, she said.

“Our love for Israel and the army was just so intense.”

His funeral was Sunday in Israel and several members of his family spoke, including two of his three siblings.

On 脸谱网, JDS posted that the school is in mourning and called him “a beloved student.”

“Omer was an unabashed advocate for the State of Israel. He is a hero to the State of Israel, the Jewish people, and the school. We are devastated and heartbroken,” school officials wrote in the post.

Balva, according to the JDS post when he was still a student, was “conscious of the fact that many people are not supportive of the IDF’s mission, and wants to see the conflict first-hand, as opposed to seeing and hearing about it on the news.”

Following his Army service, Balva became a student at Reichman University. Its Raphael Recanati International School posted on 脸谱网 that it “is devastated to announce the death of 俄梅珥Balva.”

He was studying business and economics.

He was called up as a reservist following Hamas’ recent attack on Israel. He was in the United States at the time but quickly flew back to Israel to serve, according to several of his friends’ family on 脸谱网.