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Jun 19, 2005 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm | 23rd of Tevet, 5730 | כ״ג בטבת תש״ל
Sgt.-Maj. Avi Karouchi was killed on June 19, 2005 as a result of a coordinated Palestinian attack in which RPG missiles and gunfire were fired at an IDF engineering force conducting construction work on the Israeli-Egyptian border.
At around 10:30 A.M., an Engineers Corps force was engaged in the construction of a wall on the outskirts of Rafah. The construction work has been accelerated of late with the objective of providing protection to vehicles traveling along the Philadelphi Route and of making it more difficult to dig tunnels in the area.
Palestinian gunmen fired an anti-tank missile and opened fire at an IDF post in order to distract the soldiers from another attack that was carried out simultaneously against an IDF force conducting construction work on the Israeli-Egyptian border. Three IDF soldiers were wounded by the fire. The IDF returned fire, hitting both gunmen; one was killed and the second escaped. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
Sgt.-Maj. Avi Karouchi sustained serious wounds to his shoulder and back and died three hours later at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.
Avi, who was planning to marry his girlfriend Liran in August, was recently employed as a truck driver. Just two months ago after being called up for reserve duty, he agreed to sign up as a career NCO in order to assist in completing the construction work along the Philadelphi Route fulfilling his dream of an army career.
“As a civilian he was one of the best crane operators, and agreed to work along the route,” said Col. Eitan Yitzhak, the Southern Command’s chief engineering officer.
“He was aware of the danger but insisted on doing the job,” he said.
Sgt.-Maj. Avi Karouchi was buried in Beersheba.
He is survived by his parents Shoshana and Meir, his brother, Haviv 21, and two sisters – Adi 24, and Rahel 15.
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