'May they all come home': Son of Israeli Judoka Oren Smadga killed in Gaza after father's birthday

Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Omer Smadga, one of two IDF soldiers whose deaths in the central Gaza Strip were announced on Friday morning, is the son of the legendary athlete Oren Smadja – the Olympic medalist in judo from the Barcelona 1992 Olympics and the currente coach of the Israeli judo team.

In a sheer coincidence, Oren Smadga celebrated his birthday just one day before, posting on Facebook a message that now carries a new and chilling significance: "Thank you to everyone who wished me well, may everyone return home safely, Am Yisrael Chai."

Two killed, three wounded

The IDF Spokesperson announced today that two reservist soldiers, Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Omer Smadga and Sgt.-Maj. (res.) Saadia Yaakov Dery, were killed in the central Gaza Strip due to mortar fire.

'may they all come home': son of israeli judoka oren smadga killed in gaza after father's birthday

SMADJA WITH father-trainer, Morris, who helped introduce judo to Israel. (credit: ODED KARNI)

SMADJA WITH father-trainer, Morris, who helped introduce judo to Israel. (credit: ODED KARNI)

Additionally, during the incident in which they were killed, three other reservist soldiers from the Alexandroni Brigade were seriously wounded. The injured soldiers were evacuated to a hospital for medical treatment.

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