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Remembering the Fallen: The Last Journey of Lone Soldier Staff Sergeant Simon Shlomov

Simon Shlomov

Thousands of residents from Rishon LeZion and across the country gathered at the cemetery in Rishon LeZion to accompany the fallen soldier, Staff Sergeant Simon Shlomov, on his final journey. Staff Sergeant Shlomov lost his life in the Gaza Strip, and there was concern about a low turnout for his funeral, as most of his family resides abroad, and his friends are still serving in Gaza. Thousands of people arrived at the funeral to pay their respects to Simon on his final journey. 

Eli Dukorsky, the mayor of Kiryat Bialik, expressed the city's pain over the loss of Staff Sergeant Shlomov, a 20-year-old resident of the city. Staff Sergeant Shlomov served as a paratrooper in the 202nd Brigade. He lived alone in an apartment in the city and immigrated to Israel as part of the NAALE program in March 2021. The NAALE program is an educational initiative designed for Jewish youth worldwide who come to Israel without their parents.

Simon studied at the Meir Shfeya Youth Village and later attended a pre-army preparatory course before enlisting alongside Staff Sergeant Boris Donvetsky, another lone soldier from Kiryat. Both soldiers fell in the Gaza Strip during the recent conflict.

Yeshi Hadad, the founder of the Harel Pre-Military Academy where Simon studied, mourned his student, saying, "Simon came through NAALE, was educated at the Shfeya Youth Village, and joined our Harel Academy in Jerusalem. He was a cheerful and lively young man who improved his Hebrew during his time at the academy to enlist in the paratroopers, of which he was proud. Simon loved the people of Israel and the State of Israel; he left everything to come here and serve in the paratroopers to contribute to our beloved country. His immense loss adds to the grief we experienced a few months ago when Boris Donvetsky, Simon's close friend, also fell in the Gaza Strip."

A comrade from Simon's unit shared memories, saying, "My Simontchik, the man with the cigarette. You were so Zionist. People need to learn from you. You wanted so much to study in the country and start real life. It's just not fair for you to end your life like this. You fought with bravery until the very end. Who like me knows you, knows what we went through together."

"We had tough moments and would look at each other. You'd give me the usual fusion of inspiration. On October 7th, you sent me the first message because you knew I lived near the Gaza border. You cared for me, and I care for you. I'll worry about you up there. You died a day before my birthday. I will never forget you, my dear combat companion. I love you."

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