By Haaretz and COLlive
Dror Khanin, 37, became the first Israeli to die from Hamas fire on Tuesday when he succumbed to critical wounds from mortar shell shrapnel at the Gaza border.
Khanin, a resident of the central Israeli town of Beit Areyeh, traveled south to distribute food to soldiers on the Gaza border. He reached the Erez border crossing, where he was hit by the shrapnel.
Khanin, who has also volunteered for Chabad in his community, was caught in the shelling while distributing food to soldiers and didn’t make it to shelter in time.
His body was riddled with shrapnel; he was pronounced dead at Barzilai Hospital in nearby Ashkelon.
He worked as an administrative official at a baby food factory, and later as a labor manager for a construction company.
He is survived by his wife Racheli, and their three children, ten-year-old Shaked, 6-year-old Yoav and 9-month-old Avigail.
One other person was lightly wounded in the same attack. Hospital officials told an interviewer on Israeli Army Radio that that the 44-year-old victim suffered shrapnel wounds to the face but was listed in good condition.
“It shows the humanity of Israel that its 1st casualty in Operation Protective Edge was a Chabad rabbi who came to give food to soldiers,” Jerusalem Post correspondent Gil Hoffman originally tweeted.
But Chabad Ashkelon wrote on Twitter that “as far as we know, the person killed is not a Chabad chossid. From an inquiry we made with the Shliach in the village the person lives, he is not a Chabad chossid.”
Haaretz reporter Anshel Pfeffer twitted: “Identification of Israeli civilian killed as Chabad hasid may be mistaken (they’re usually very active in bringing cakes and stuff to soldiers).”
Regardless of the person’s identity, Chabad of Ashkelon expressed its deep sorrow over the death of a Jewish person who was murdered because he was living in Israel.
So far Tuesday more than 100 rockets have been launched at Israel from Gaza. 47 of them fell in open land away from population centers, four struck inside built-up residential areas and 10 were intercepted by the Iron Dome, Arutz 7 reports.
Chabad of Ashkelon asked the public to say tehillim for Yariv Ben Mor Halevi, an alum of the Chabad school in Ashkelon, who was injured Tuesday morning from a Grad rocket.