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Israeli-U.S. Dual Citizen Killed In Gaza As Mourners Gather For Funeral

Maj. (res.) Moshe Leiter's funeral draws hundreds as father appeals to President Biden

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem on Sunday for the funeral of Maj. (res.) Moshe Yedidyah Leiter, a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen who was killed fighting against Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip.

Leiter, a 39-year-old father of six from Kibbutz Ein Tzurim, was killed on Friday along with three other Israel Defense Forces reservists while inspecting a booby-trapped tunnel entrance in the Gaza Strip’s Beit Hanoun area.

The other soldiers killed in the incident were identified as Master Sgt. (res.) Matan Meir, Sgt. Maj. (res.) Yossi Hershkovitz and Master Sgt. (res.) Sergey Shmerkin, all from the 551st Reserve Paratrooper Brigade’s 697th Battalion.

Leiter was due to start a training placement at a hospital as part of his studies to become a doctor and was involved in volunteer work, his father, Yechiel, said at the funeral.

Yechiel Leiter, a U.S.-born former chief of staff to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called on President Joe Biden to stand with Israel as it fights to “defeat evil.”

“Dear Mr. President Joe Biden, I’m taking the liberty of talking to you from Jerusalem. We have two things in common, me and you. Number one, we were both born in Scranton. Scranton, Pennsylvania… The second thing we have in common is that, as of last Friday, I, like you, am a bereaved parent,” said Leiter in his eulogy.

“There are rumors, now, that you’re putting pressure on Israel to hold off, to cease the offensive,” continued the bereaved father, referring to Biden’s request that Israel accept a ceasefire lasting multiple days,” he added.

“If those rumors are true—I hope they’re not— but if they’re true, I respectfully ask of you, here on my son’s grave: Cease and desist. Stand back, Mr. President. Don’t pressure us,” said Leiter.

A total of 361 Israeli troops have died since Hamas launched its multi-pronged attack on the Jewish state on Oct. 7, according to IDF figures published on Sunday. The ground operation in Gaza has cost the lives of 42 soldiers.

“Massive turnout at Mt. Herzl military cemetery for the funeral of Dr. Moshe Leiter, 39, killed in action in Gaza against Hamas. There are so many people here that it’s almost impossible to see the ceremony. Israel mourns its @IDF fallen together, as a nation with one great heart,” said Joel Pollak in his post on X.

Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

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