June 25, 2006 - Lt. Hanan Barak, 20, of Arad was one of two IDF soldiers killed when terrorists infiltrated Israeli territory between the Kerem Shalom and Sufa crossings, by means of a tunnel dug from the Rafah area.
At about 5:30 in the morning, members of the Hamas and Popular Resistance Committees terror organizations infiltrated into Israel through a tunnel originating from the Rafah area, passing under the security fence to the area of the Kerem Shalom crossing in Israel. The cell, backed by mortar and anti-tank fire from within the Gaza Strip, attacked an armored personnel carrier, an IDF tank and a watchtower, killing two IDF soldiers and wounding four additional soldiers: one severely, two moderately and one lightly. Another soldier was abducted and declared missing in action. Also killed was the tank driver, Staff-Sgt. Pavel Slutzker.
An officer in the IDF's armored corps, Barak was born in Arad and graduated from ORT High School in the city. His girlfriend of the last two years, Orit Gino, told of how she recently moved to Arad in order to spend time with Barak during his furloughs. At the gravesite, speaking to Barak, as if he were still with her, she recalled a conversation between them during a vacation to Eilat, in which he told her, "We are soulmates and soulmates never part. We are like one person." She told him that even though she had a hard time with the army, she would support his decision to stay on to be an officer after his three years of service ended. They had spoken of their dreams for the future, the home they wanted to have together and the children they hoped to raise together.
Hanan's father David related: "In school, he was a regular student, nothing special. But he came into his own in the army, where he excelled and emerged as a leader." In addition to his success as a soldier, Hanan was an artist who drew pictures, particularly portraits, said his brother Yishai. "But he was pragmatic, so he was considering going into architecture after the army," he added. Among the many memories that flooded his mind after hearing of his brother's death was the way his brother had bonded with him, supporting him through a serious illness six years ago, when his brother was only 15. "I knew my hair was going to fall out, so I decided to shave it off. In solidarity with me, Hanan shaved his off as well," recalled Yishai.
Lt. Hanan Barak was buried in Arad. He is survived by his parents, David and Nela, his brother Yishai, and older sister.