Lior Farhi, 40, the security coordinator for the community of Sha'arei Tikva, was killed Sunday morning as he tried to stop a car carrying illegal Palestinians into Israeli territory. A friend of Farhi's who was with him and documented the incident on film, said the driver sped up and hit Farhi on purpose. The two were documenting the entrance of illegal Palestinian workers to Israel, a daily occurrence.
Farhi, who is survived by his pregnant wife and three children, was recognized as a fallen member of the Israel Defense Forces because he was fulfilling his duties as the community's security liaison with the IDF at the time of his death. He will be brought to rest on Monday afternoon in a military ceremony at the Segula cemetery.
On Sunday morning Farhi left for an area along the West Bank security barrier used by Palestinians to cross the Green Line, near Road 505 between Oranit and Elkana. Part of the security barrier, between Sha'arei Tikva and Oranit, is still under construction and the breach, some 200 meters (656 feet) from the IDF roadblock, is exploited by Palestinians seeking to cross into Israel. Hundreds of Palestinians enter Israel illegally every day in such a manner, usually continuing to Rosh Ha'ayin or Tel Aviv.
This phenomenon, explained Farhi's colleagues, concerned Farhi because among those Palestinians entering Israel for work were also criminal and terrorist elements.
"Lior wanted to document the illegal Palestinian infiltrations to increase awareness about what is happening in our area, and therefore came here early in the morning," said his friend Ruby, a volunteer with the Civil Guard (a volunteer organization which assists in daily police work), who has known Farhi for years.
Farhi, who was accompanied by an IDF officer Sunday morning, also called in support from his friend, Dvir Carmon, to help in the documentation efforts.
"Lior took his job seriously; we called him Mr. Security," said Carmon. "He wanted to raise awareness over this problem," he said.
Carmon, who arrived at the scene to help Farhi, parked his car on the side of the road. So as not to arouse the suspicion of the Palestinians, the men popped the hood of the car and feigned mechanical problems.
"I began videotaping the spotters who signal to the Palestinians when it is safe to cross, and also the people waiting to cross the fence and then running to get into an Israeli car that was waiting for them nearby. Lior told me to drive forward and then got out of the car to close the hood. Suddenly we saw two soldiers running toward the Palestinians and the car driving toward the soldiers. Lior managed to yell to me, 'the soldiers,' and started running in the direction of the car.
"He pulled out his gun and stood in the road, signaling for the car to pull over. He thought the car would hit the soldiers. I saw that the driver spotted him, swerved from the lane he was in, turn around and start driving towards Lior. It was a matter of seconds. Lior aimed his gun, and the car, instead of stopping, sped up and ran him over," Carmon recounted.
Farhi was mortally wounded, though a paramedic, also from Sha'arei Tikva, quickly arrived at the scene to try to resuscitate him. Farhi was rushed in critical condition to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva, where he was pronounced dead.
"He was in a bad state. He simply died in my arms," said Carmon, who was with his friend until the very end.
Haimon Blumenfeld, Sha'arei Tikva's director general, said Farhi was one of the veteran members of the community of 1,500 families. "He excelled at anything having to do with security. He was a consummate professional, dedicated, physically fit and had a high level of operational skill. He saw his job as a calling, not just another place to work, and was much more active than a normal security coordinator," said Blumenfeld.
The head of the Shomron Regional Council, Gershon Mesika, said of the tragic incident: "The security coordinator was murdered in a despicable attack while doing his duties and died a hero's death while defending [the country] against illegal Palestinian residents who cut the security fence, and saved the lives of the soldiers."
A short while after the incident on Sunday, a resident of the Arab village of Kafr Qasim walked into the Rosh Ha'ayin police department and reported that the vehicle was his but had been stolen from him. A few hours later, Shai District police detectives, working with Tel Aviv District police, arrested a youth from Kafr Qasim in Jaffa.