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Jun 8, 2003 | 8th of Sivan, 5763 | ח׳ בסיון תשס״ג
June 8, 2003 – Sgt. Maj. (Res.) Assaf Abergil, 23 of Eilat was one of four soldiers killed when Palestinian terrorists opened fire on an IDF outpost near the Erez checkpoint and industrial zone in the Gaza Strip.
At about 5:30 on Sunday morning, three terrorists wearing IDF uniforms and armed with Kalashnikovs and grenades passed through the checkpoint for Palestinian laborers on their way to work in the Erez industrial zone. They then crossed the fence and wall separating the outpost from the industrial zone. At the entrance to the outpost, the terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at a warrant officer, Sgt. Maj. Boaz Emete, who was fixing a tank, killing him. The terrorists continued to fire, killing two reserve soldiers on guard duty at the outpost gates – Sgt. Maj. (Res.) Assaf Abergil and Sgt. Maj. (Res.) Udi Eilat. Penetrating into the outpost, they killed another reserve soldier, Sgt. Maj. (Res.) Chen Engel, and wounded four others, before being killed by soldiers from the response team. The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad issued a joint statement claiming responsibility for the attack.
After graduating from Goldwater High School in Eilat, Assaf Abergil enlisted in the Armored Corps and did part of his service in the Gaza Strip during the intifada. Following his discharge from the IDF, he enrolled to study law, planning to specialize in property law and contracts. In the meantime, he worked at various jobs – a barman at an Eilat beach, and a security guard.
Assaf began his first tour of reserve duty just 10 days ago. He spoke to his parents for the last time Saturday night and told them that the area in which he was serving was quiet.
Sgt. Maj. (Res.) Assaf Abergil was buried in the military section of the Eilat cemetery. He is survived by his parents Natan and Jacqueline, his brother Tamir 22 and sister Sidit 6.
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