A grief-stricken nation on Monday laid to rest Dr. Omri Nir and his 10-year-old son, Ilai, who were tragically killed by a fall during a hiking trip in the Judean desert.
Omri and Ilai were part of a larger group including 15 other children that set out to hike the Tze’elim Stream near the Dead Sea on Friday.
During one of the descents, Ilai lost his footing and fell onto his father before continuing to roll toward a nearby cliff.
Omri did not hesitate and leapt for his son, wrapping Ilai in a protecting embrace before they plunged into the canyon below.
A medic with the group quickly descended and found Ilai still breathing. Omri was already gone.
Two days later, following frantic attempts to complete Omri’s mission to save his son’s life, doctors at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva were forced to declare Ilai dead.
“Now you will be together forever,” one family member was quoted as saying by Israeli media, as they prepared to lay to rest Omri and the child for whom he gave his life, little Ilai.