October 24, 2023

Israeli-American Reserve Member Killed by Missile in Israel

An Israeli-American with dual citizenship serving as a reservist in the Israeli military was killed by a Hezbollah missile.

Staff Sgt. Omer Balva, 22, passed away on Friday in Northern Israel, according to the IDF.

"Balva was born to Israeli parents but grew up in Rockville, Maryland, where he attended the Charles E. Smith Jewish day school, the Times of Israel reported," according to Fox News.

"He was one of some 360,000 Israeli reservists called into action after the Islamic group Hamas infiltrated Israel on October 7, brutally murdering at least 1,400 Israeli civilians and taking an estimated 210 people captive back to Gaza," it added.

"The child of Israeli parents who lived in the United States for decades, Balva, 22, recently finished a stint in the Israel Defense Forces and was among the 360,000 reservists called up as Israel mobilized to respond. Like an untold number of Israelis in the United States, he quickly booked a flight, packed safety gear, and headed home," JTA reported.

"There, Balva was killed Friday by a rocket fired by Hezbollah from Lebanon, just days after he was deployed to Israel’s northern border," it continued.

The IDF responded to the missile attack that killed Balva with a drone strike against the terrorist actions, according to the IDF.

Hezbollah, a terrorist group in Lebanon supported by Iran, has released small skirmishes along Israel's northern border in recent days following Hamas terror attacks on Israel Oct. 7.

Israel has assigned large military resources to the northern border to put a quick stop to any efforts to create a two-front war as it also seeks to put down the threat from Hamas in Gaza in the southern part of the nation.

The loss of an Israel-American makes the war a much more personal reality for many, highlighting one of many connections between Israel and the U.S.

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