In Memoriam

Remembering Our Fallen

Every year, on Yom Ha’zikaron (Memorial Day), Israel commemorates its fallen soldiers and the victims of terror attacks. So far, 23,085 servicemen in Israel’s defense establishment have been killed during operational duties and terror attacks.

On this site you will have the opportunity to see some of their stories. The story of Israel.

Pvt. Ruti Shuster

Ruti, daughter of Eliezer and Rivka, was born September 30, 1953 in Kiryat Bialik. She graduated from the Bosmat Engineer and Technician School in Haifa, where she studied engineering. During her free time, she was an active member of the sports group "Maccabi Youth" and liked doing handwork, particularly sewing and drawing. She was beloved by all, and she had an intelligent approach to people and to life.

Ruti joined the IDF in March 1973 and was stationed in the Combat Engineering Corps. On July 23, 1973, Ruti fell in the line of duty and was laid to rest in the cemetery in Kiryat Bialik.

In a letter of condolence to the bereaved family, her commander wrote: "Ruti was a great soldier, devoted and faithful, and implemented all missions with expertise and grace. She was not only appreciated by her commanders - her friends and members of her unit also liked and respected her honesty and loyalty."

Pvt. Asher Kozakhi

Asher Kozakhi, son of Shimon and Malka, was born on August 28, 1943 in Tel Aviv. He was a student at the Moriah state elementary school and continued his secondary education at a vocational high-school in Netanya. Asher was a good student, quiet and diligent. He had many friends.

Asher began work as an electrician and advanced quickly, working at an electrical workshop established near his home, where he constructed lamps and delicate electrical equipment. He was a member of the HaNoar HaOved youth movement.

Asher enlisted in the IDF in February 1962 and joined the Golani Brigade. After basic training he completed rifleman training and was then trained as a canteen worker. After his release from the IDF, Asher returned to electrical work, giving the majority of his salary to his parents. Following the sudden death of his father, Asher took over his job in the Netanya municipality. After establishing himself in his job, Asher married. He was very connected to his family, and looked after his mother and brothers, as well as his wife and two children.

In the Six Day War, Asher participated in battles in the Golan Heights and was wounded there. After the war he was decorated as a veteran. He performed his work as a municipal warden to the great satisfaction of his superiors, and in his spare time operated a small electrical lab where he repaired radios and conducted electrical experiments. On July 27, 1973, Asher fell in the course of duty and was laid to rest at the military cemetery in Netanya.

He left behind his wife and two children.

Staff Sgt. Alexander-Zusia Tefer

Alexander was the son of Meir and Slova, Holocaust survivors who rebuilt their lives in Israel. He was born on the 31st of January, 1952, in Jerusalem. Alexander was a member of the Hashomer HaTzair youth movement, and eventually became a leader in his local branch. During high school, he spent a lot of time building up his physical fitness in preparation for military service by playing sports, doing gym exercises and lifting weights. Alexander was a sociable, cheerful and happy person. He read many books, and was interested in what was happening in the world and in Israel.

Alexander was drafted in late November 1970 and was assigned to Ordnance Corps armored unit. He successfully passed the Ordnance Corps course and volunteered as a career soldier. Only after he fell in battle his parents learned that he did his three years in the north and along with his unit participated in armored raids into Lebanon where he was under enemy fire on numerous occasions. Alexander’s role was difficult and complex, and he was respected by his officers and his technical squad. On the 14th of September, 1973. Sergeant Alexander fell in the line of duty. He was buried in the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery.

In a condolence letter to his family, his commander wrote: “Alexander performed his duties flawlessly, was liked by the soldiers of his company, and earned their respect."

Cpl. Eliyahu Nedem

Cpl. Eliyahu Nedem, son of Shimon and Rina, was born on August 1st, 1953 in Akko, where he attended elementary and high school. In school, he was distinguished in his studies and was very involved in school, from organizing class outings to participating in the school’s dance troupe, where he performed in celebrations and events. He was a member of the “Work and Study” youth movement, of which he was an integral member in the Akko branch. Eli, as many called him, was active in sports, participating in basketball competitions.

Eli was a good boy, who was constantly smiling and was a bit shy. He continued his studies after high school and participated in a two year drafting course. He began working in the Na’aman factory and was promised that after he finished his army service that he would be sent abroad for his university studies.

Eli was drafted in mid-August of 1971 to the Armored Corps, where he was an armored personnel carrier driver. He was very attached to his family and friends and when he came home on leave he spent as much time as he could with friends. He was loved by his entire unit and was always ready to help everyone. He was very close to his battalion commander who referred to him "as a member of the family." On the seventeenth of September 1973, Corporal Nedem was killed in the line of duty. He was laid to rest in a military cemetery in Nahariya.

PFC Aryeh Bushari

PFC Aryeh Bushari, son of Salam and Jonah, was born on September 12th, 1953 in Jerusalem. Aryeh was raised in Yehud, where he attended elementary and high school. He was a good student and very sociable. He loved sports, especially horse riding, and spending time with his friends, who loved and respected him.

He was intelligent, quiet, loved to help others in any way that he could. He maintained good ties with his friends from Yehud even after his enlistment in the IDF, even with those who were assigned to different units. Every chance he had, he would spend with friends.

Aryeh was drafted into the IDF in mid-August of 1972, where he volunteered to serve in the Artillery Corps. In the army, Aryeh was a disciplined soldier who did his work faithfully, and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. He was a good soldier and a good friend to each of the soldiers in his unit. On October 3rd, Private First Class Aryeh fell in the line of duty. He was buried in the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul.

Staff Sgt. Jawdat Abu Rakiah

Jawdat, son of Fatma and Hadar, was born on February 2, 1978, in the village of Maisar. He was a brother of Tamar, Nidel and Kotar.

Jawdat, known to those close to him as Gadi, was active in the local community. He served as a youth counselor at the village youth center and as a guard for youth trips. He loved to draw, to swim and to dive. He was a talented chef.

In April 1997, after having graduated from the Yamah agricultural school in Zamar, he enlisted in the IDF. He served in the Border Police for three years.

Upon his release from the IDF, Jawdat worked first as a sous-chef in Ramat Gan and then as a guard on Kibbutz Magal. Afterwards, he returned to the IDF as a career soldier, serving as a Hummer driver in the Menashe Regional Brigade. He completed a first aid course and other training courses during his service. According to his commander, he was a serious soldier, quiet but friendly, disciplined, thorough and helpful.

Staff Sgt. Abu Rakiah fell in the line of duty on June 25, 2006, at age 28. He was laid to rest in his home village, Maisar. He left behind his parents, two sisters and a brother.

Lt. Hanan Barak

Hanan, son of Nelly and David, was born on August 18, 1985 in Haifa.

As a student, Hanan loved to paint and draw, and was extraordinarily talented. He earned praise from all of his teachers.

Hanan was a sensitive boy, always willing to lend a hand to those in need.

As a teenager, Hanan discovered a passion and talent for dancing, especially Salsa. He also loved to play soccer and basketball.

Hanan received offers from many different units in the lead up to his enlistment in the IDF, but ultimately decided to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and sister and join the Armored Corps.

Hanan enlisted in November 2003, and proved himself to be an outstanding soldier, moving through the ranks to become a tank commander and officer.

In March 2006, Hanan set out with his entire battalion for operational activity near Gaza. On Thursday, June 22, 2006, Hanan's tank crew replaced another at Kerem Shalom. Five days later, they were supposed to leave the sector.

On June 25, Hanan fell in battle, aged 21. In the middle of the night, a force of eight armed Palestinians infiltrated into Israel by means of a concealed tunnel. They fired a missile and threw grenades at Hanan's tank, damaging it severely. Hanan and the tank driver – Staff Sgt. Pavel Slotzker – were killed.

Hanan was laid to rest at the military cemetery in Arad. He left behind his parents, brother and sister.

Hanan left behind a manifesto for tank commanders in which he wrote: "Human dignity and respect are supreme values." That is the legacy that he left behind for his soldiers, commanders, friends and family.

Staff Sgt. Pavel Slutsker

Staff Sgt. Pavel Slutsker, son of Lidia and Yevgeny, was born on July 18th, 1985 in the Magadan Region in the former Soviet Union. In late June of 1991, at the age of six, he immigrated to Israel with his parents and brother Viktor. For the first two months, he lived with his family in Jerusalem before moving to Dimona in 1991, where they established themselves. Pavel was a talented boy who showed interest in many different areas. Pavel had a very high inclination for languages and couple speak five: Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, French, and English.

Pavel was an excellent student and was selected by the Bar - Ilan University as one of five students who would receive a scholarship to complete a law degree.

At the end of November 2004, Pavel joined the army and started his training to be a combat soldier. He served with the 71st Armored Force and contributed all of his his energy and ability to his battalion.

In the morning of June 25th, 2006 at Kerem Shalom, a force of eight armed Palestinian terrorists came through a tunnel inside Israel and split into three squads. They fired missiles at Pavel’s tank and he was killed instantly. When the explosion hit other soldiers in the tank, Corporal Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. Pavel was 21 when he was killed.

Lt. Col. Ami Gadish (Goldstein)

Ami Gadish was the son of Shlomo and Miriam, and was born on the 2nd of June, 1940 in Kiryat Haim, near Haifa. He enlisted in July 1958 and joined the Nahal Brigade. During his basic training, he was tested for the Air Force, met all the requirements, and was transferred. He graduated from flight school as a distinguished soldier.

In the Six Day War, Ami flew a MiG 17. After his service, he joined the standing army, and served in roles including flight instructor, flight examiner, deputy squadron commander, unit commander for the flight school and eventually fighter squadron commander. He was also responsible for aerobatic flight training. Ami was an exceptionally diligent officer, alert, enterprising and in possession of excellent operational capabilities. His fellow soldiers nicknamed him "Goldie". He was an exemplary professional and a man of rare ability.

During the War of Attrition, he flew numerous operational sorties. Despite the difficulties of his work, which he did under intense pressure, he did not forget how to handle the IDF's secret weapon - people. His students and subordinates loved him and admired him.

On the 3rd of October, 1973, pilot Lt. Col. Ami fell in line of duty, and was buried in the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul. He left behind a wife and three daughters.

His commander wrote the following in a letter of condolence to his family: ”Ami was an exemplary fighter squadron commander, a man who constantly led his soldiers forward."

Pvt. Levi Ismailov (Luba)

Levi, son of Yechia and Beji, was born on May 3, 1939 in Tbilisi. There he completed his elementary school studies. In 1962 he made aliyah with his family to Israel. At first he worked as a molder where he was valued as a hard worker and a good friend, ready to help wherever he was needed. He was known throughout Lod for his good heart and radiant smile.

In his spare time, Levi painted as a hobby. He was conscripted into the IDF in 1963. After his release from regular service he became a printer and worked at the Kargal factory in Lod. Though he did not seek to stand out, his great skill was noticed by all.

As a young man he placed concern for his parents and family first.

On the eve of the Six Day War, when he saw that his call to duty was delayed, he became impatient and prepared to head out by himself; and so, through courage and determination, he went out to fight in the Armored Corps. On the first day of fighting (June 5, 1967), he was killed in a mortar bombardment at Maoz Zion. He was laid to rest at the military cemetery at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.

Staff Sgt. Yehuda (Udi) Basel

Yehuda (Udi) Basel, son of Shoshana and Zecharia, was born on the 29th of August, 1985 in Moshav Yinon, and raised and educated there. Udi was a son to founders of the moshav, and brother to Oren, Yigal, Yael, Raziel and Yosef.

At the beginning of August 2004, Udi enlisted in the army, and began training in Battalion 13 in the Golani Brigade. After he finished his course as an outstanding soldier, he began his commanders course earlier than usual. In March 2005, at the end of the course, Udi became the commander of a group of soldiers in basic training.

Udi was an amazing person, a true friend and a wonderful personality. The two most prominent features that characterized him: a joy for life and a quest for perfection and professionalism. There was always a smile spread over his face, a smile that radiated over all those around him.

Yehuda intended to go to officers' course after the operation in which he fell. He did not get there.

Yaakov (Jackie) Goren

Yaakov (Jackie) Goren, son of Mina and Mordechai, was born on the 2nd of December 1936 in Tel Aviv, and learned in Geula elementary school. During Israel’s War of Independence, he helped defend border positions in Tel Aviv-Jaffa. In the battle on the 23rd of February, 1948, he fell in the line of duty. Yaakov Goren was only 12 years old. His place of burial is unknown. A monument to his memory was placed in the military cemetery at Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem.

Sgt. Shamai Tiecher

Shamai, son of Batya and Lazar, was born in on the 3rd of July, 1951 in Tel Aviv. He was an active member of the Scouts movement in Tel Aviv from his childhood. Shamai was a big fan of sports, excelled in basketball and handball, and even played for the youth team of Maccabi Tel Aviv. He was friendly, and always ready to help others. Everyone who knew him loved him because of his dignity, good heart, and good manners.

Shamai enlisted in the IDF at the beginning of October 1969 and volunteered for the Armored Corps. He excelled in his professional training as a tank commander, and completed his service as a tank instructor in the corps. In Shamai’s release evaluation card from the service his commander wrote that “he was responsible and devoted, and carried out his work willingly and lovingly”.

When the Yom Kippur War broke out in 1973, Shamai was called up for a reserve duty, and even though he could have avoided it for medical reasons, Shamai volunteered to serve on the frontline. He participated in the battles against the Egyptians on the Sinai front. In one of those battles, he was critically injured. He was hospitalized for the following four months of his injury, but he did not regain consciousness. Shamai passed away on March 6th, 1974. He left behind his parents and a brother.

Cpl. Suheil Abazak

Suheil Abazak was born on the 31st of July, 1954 in Tarhisha. He was son to a Muslim mother and policeman father and was part of the Circassian ethnic group. Suheil served in a special reconnaissance unit in the IDF’s combat forces. On the morning of April 11th, 1974, a squad of terrorists captured an Israeli home in the northern town of Kiryat Shmona and started a massacre which later came to be known as the “Kiryat Shmona Massacre”. Suheil’s unit was called to the scene. They stormed the house and killed the terrorists. During the operation, Abazak Suheil was killed. He left behind his parents and four sisters.

Suheil was the driving force among his friends and was active in the social and cultural life of his village. He was also considered a gifted athlete.

His commander wrote the following about him: “Suheil was the best of our sons and soldiers. His army journey was difficult, but he was a true combat soldier, with the high personal values of a boy who was born in a free country and who paid the ultimate price. I imagined he would have a big future. Suheil was about to go to officers course, but unfortunately he was taken from us. Only his image and his contribution were left, and they will accompany us forever as a living torch that will light our way day and night.”

Acting Officer Mordechai Garidi

Mordechai, son of Rachel and Menachem, was born March 21, 1954 in Beit She'an. He excelled as a student, and spent most of his strength and energy on studying Torah. He earned the respect of his teachers, who wanted him to continue studying and become a teacher to impart his knowledge to others. However, Mordechai wanted to serve in the IDF. He greatly believed in volunteerism and was ready for any sacrifice required of him.

Mordechai was drafted in August 1972 into the Combat Engineering Corps. In 1973, he successfully completed his officers' course, and was immediately sent to serve as an engineer in the Northern Command. He was a great officer, well-spoken and professional, liked by his colleagues and superiors. He volunteered for every difficult mission, and thus was sent to Sinai to help rescue a pilot of the Egyptian Air Force, whose plane crashed and fell in Israeli territory. On April 11, 1974, terrorists broke into the city of Kiryat Shmona. Mordechai left with his unit to help eliminate the terrorists and was killed.

He was laid to rest at the cemetery in Kiryat-Shaul.

He left behind his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister.

In a letter of condolence to the bereaved family, the Defense Minister wrote: "2nd Lt. Mordechai Garidi gave his life for his country. He was an excellent soldier, a talented officer and a loyal friend who was liked by all."

Lt. Michael Nir Soponro

Lt. Michael Nir Soponro, son of Yona and Tony, was born on October 10th, 1952 in Beer Sheva. Michael was very energetic and social and was viewed by his friends as a leader. Sofo, as he was known by his friends, was a very good student and excelled in math and science. He asked for extra reading material to study on his own from university professors and also participated in science-oriented youth conferences.

Michael had been extremely interested in aviation from his childhood and he made model airplanes and read everything he could regarding planes. In January of 1971, Michael was drafted into the army and was placed in the Air Force. Following basic training, he took a flying course and received his pilot’s wings in November of 1972. He was assigned to a squadron as a pilot.

In September 1973, Michael married his high school girlfriend and during his honeymoon the Yom Kippur War broke out. He was a helicopter pilot during the Yom Kippur War and following the war was promoted to lieutenant.

Michael also participated in the War of Attrition in the North. As his plane was returning from the north, it collided with another plane. Michael's helicopter burst into flames and all eight passengers were killed. He was laid to rest at a military cemetery in Beer Sheva. He is survived by his wife, his father, and his father's wife and sister.

Sgt. Eliezer Tamar

Eliezer, son of Miriam and Yaakov and brother of Osnat, was born in Bat Yam on Monday, December 31, 1951, the eighth night of Hanukkah.

Eliezer was known for being kind and fair, consistently pursuing justice. He disliked conventions and was committed to his convictions. He was very devoted to his family and did whatever he could to help them.

In 1969, after graduating from the Marom Tzion Yeshiva High School in Jerusalem, Eliezer enlisted in the IDF, where he was assigned to the Israel Air Force. After training to operate electrical equipment on helicopters, he served at the Tel Nof airbase. He completed his mandatory military service and then went on to serve as a career soldier. He never informed his parents of his helicopter flights, so as not to worry them.

In 1974, a few months before his release, Eliezer applied to study accounting at Tel Aviv University. He took the required exams, but only his parents received his successful results, shortly after his death.

On April 19, 1974, Eliezer took part in an aerial mission on the Golan Heights. Afterwards, as he flew back to the Rosh Pina Airport, his helicopter collided with another IAF helicopter. It then crashed and burst into flames, killing all eight crew members.

Eliezer was 22 years old at the time of his death. He was laid to rest at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul. He left behind his parents and a sister.

Sgt. Dan Farkash

Dan Farkash, son of Miriam and Yakov, was born on January 24, 1952 in Hadera. At the age of 14 he began to play tennis, and revealed himself to be an exceptional athlete. Dan quickly became the junior champion player of Tel Aviv, and eventually, the whole of Israel.

Dan enlisted in the IDF in July, 1970, and began his path in the Air Force's pilots' course. There he trained as a paratrooper and earned the coveted paratrooper’s’ wings. Dan left the pilots' course and was transferred to the Air Force's systems control unit as an electronic equipment operator. In 1973, Dan completed his mandatory service and volunteered to serve as a career officer. He was an outstanding soldier with a remarkable ability to solve all kinds of problems.

Dan married Michal Yitzchaki and together they established their family home in Bat Yam. Their married life was cut short just three months after their wedding. On April 4, 1974, Dan was killed in an aerial crash above the Machanayim air field. He was laid to rest at the Kiriat Shaul cemetery. He left behind his wife, parents, and two sisters.

Sgt. First Class Shlomo Uziel

Shlomo, son of Bertha and Ya'acov, was born April 20, 1950 in Ramat Gan. During the Six Day War, when he was in the eleventh grade, Shlomo volunteered for national service in hospitals.

Shlomo was drafted into the Israeli Air Force in November 1968. Upon his release in November 1971, Shlomo volunteered to continue his service as a reservist. His commander, Major Ya'acov, said: "Despite his parents' fears, he came to serve for more time under severe and tiresome conditions. He had been through a lot, surviving the Yom Kippur War without a scratch. However, after the war ended, he found himself and his unit in a bitter war in the Golan Heights.

On April 21, 1974, a mission outpost in Mount Hermon lacked an officer and Shlomo did not hesitate to volunteer himself. Although it required much more than was expected of him, he went to complete the task. 12 hours later, we got the news that Shlomo was hit by enemy fire and killed. He was laid to rest at the cemetery in Ra'anana."

He was survived by his father, mother, and brother.

In a letter of condolence to the bereaved family, his commander wrote: "Shlomo had two qualities about him that we will never forget: immense courage, and being loved by his superiors and subordinates alike".

Sgt. Aaron Azlan

Aaron, son of Tova and Sasson, was born on the 13th of July, 1953, in Rechovot. Aaron was a cheerful and sociable boy. His friends loved him for his integrity and fairness. He liked to make jokes, and his stories always made people laugh.

Aaron was drafted into the army in mid-May 1971 and was assigned to the infantry. Following basic training, he completed a squad commanders’ course and a sappers’ course. He was a good soldier, loyal and faithful to his post, a soldier who performed his duties carefully and faithfully. His fellow soldiers remember his willingness to always help others. Even in the army his sense of humor stood out – he always knew how to create a comfortable atmosphere, and raise the morale among his friends.

At the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, his unit was sent to fight the Syrians on the northern front. The battles he and his soldiers faced were difficult and bloody. On the 22nd of April, 1974, during the War of Attrition on the northern front, Aaron was stationed in Tel Sahar. The Syrians launched a heavy barrage on Aaron’s position, and he was hit and killed. Aaron was buried in the military cemetery at Kiryat Shaul. He was survived by his parents, two brothers and a sister.

Pvt. Avraham Nisim

Avraham Nisim, son of Batya and Ya'acov, was born September 4, 1954. Avraham was very close to his parents, who were both disabled, and he worked hard to maintain the house in order to relieve his parents of these duties. "Avraham was completely devoted to his family,” his mother said.

Avraham was recruited to the IDF in early May 1972. He was enlisted into the Ground Forces, and volunteered for the Golani Brigade. His brother, who served with him in the Brigade, said: "I was very proud of Avraham. In combat, he acted like true hero." During the Yom Kippur War, Avraham fought on the Golan Heights border. Before he left for the war he gave his younger brother a ring. Avraham told him: "Take this ring as a souvenir so that, if I fall, it will be in your hands and not in the hands of the Syrians." On April 22, 1974, Avraham was killed in the area of Tel Maschara in the Golan Heights. He was laid to rest at the cemetery in Hadera

He left behind his father, mother, three brothers, and sister.

In a condolence letter to his bereaved family, then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan wrote: Avraham was a good soldier and a great friend. He was liked by all who knew him".

Staff Sgt. Meir-Israel Gottlieb

Meir-Israel (Shrulik), son of Holocaust survivors Bracha and Aryeh, was born in Haifa on February 17, 1953. He attended elementary school in Kfar Haim and continued his studies at the regional high school in the Hefer Valley. Meir was a good, diligent student, popular with his teachers and loved by his friends. His willingness to lend a hand was known by all. He was a people-person, with a good heart, always there to stand by the weak. He was modest, affable, cheerful and honest. His only ambition in life was to work the land.

Israel was endowed with a deep sense of responsibility. Even in the difficult times he was optimistic, and knew how to encourage his friends. Israel was a member of the Working and Studying Youth Movement. As a leader in the movement, Israel led hikes, folk-dancing, and taught Gadna (pre-military program for high school students) participants how to shoot at the target.

Israel enlisted in the IDF in August, 1971, and volunteered for the Nahal. He joined the Nahal agricultural settlement of Gitit and served as an operations sergeant. His friends said of him that he was a "tough commander when necessary, but also a friend with whom you could sit and talk. He was always calm and never hurt anyone."

On April 23, 1974, on the way to the memorial monument for fallen soldiers killed in the Jordan Rift Valley, Israel's vehicle struck a landmine. Five soldiers were killed, Israel among them. He was laid to rest at the cemetery at Kfar Monash.

He left behind his father, mother and sister.

Yael Orbach

Yael was born in 1976 to Israel and Helen in Petah-Tikvah. She grew up and studied in Yavne, where she was a member of the youth movement Hashomer HaTza’ir (The Youth Guard), one of Israel's youth movements. Yael loved to act and perform on stage, and participated in many plays during school. When she was 18 years old, Yael was recruited to the IDF and became an instructor in the Armored Corps. After finishing her service, Yael followed her dream and studied acting professionally. She acted in numerous plays and even volunteered to act in a public service ad for domestic violence shelters. Yael also studied professional makeup and worked as a makeup artist. She was well-loved by her peers and described by many as talented, sweet and kindhearted.

Yael was set to marry her boyfriend of four years, Ofir, and had just begun to invite people to their wedding in three weeks. On February 25, 2005, Yael and her fiancé were among the first people to arrive at the "Stage" club in Tel Aviv, to hand out wedding invitations to Ofir's army friends who frequented the place. As Yael and Ofir were handing out invitations to their friends waiting outside the beachfront club, a suicide bomber self-detonated in the midst of the crowd. Ofir and 49 more people were wounded, but Yael did not survive the attack. She was killed at the age of 28, only one month before her wedding.

Yael Orbach was laid to rest at the Kefar-Sava cemetery and is survived by her parents, two brothers and her fiancé.

Private Yaakov Weizman

Yaakov was born on July 25, 1929 in Morocco to Nissim and Miriam. He attended a modern Jewish elementary school, and later on continued to study at a school belonging the Alliance Israélite Universelle. Though he graduated at the age of 12, Yaakov continued his Jewish studies until he was 15. Yaakov's parents had trouble making ends meet, so after school he worked as a scribe and a tailor to help support his family.

In 1948, while on a rare family vacation in Casablanca, Yaakov decided that he wanted to immigrate to Israel. Yaakov played a crucial part in supporting the family, but despite the financial ramifications of his departure, his parents gave him their blessing. In September 1948, Yaakov left for Israel.

When Yaakov arrived in the country, Israel was in the midst of the War of Independence and he immediately enlisted to the IDF's Air Force. He saw the military service in his new homeland as a topmost priority and took great pride in his job. In mid-March of 1949, Yaakov was injured severely while on duty, and succumbed to his wounds two weeks later on March 30, 1949. He was 19 at the time of his passing.

Private Yaakov Weizman was laid to rest in the military cemetery at Nachalat Yitzhak.

Major Ya'akov (Jacky) Ronen

Ya’akov (Jacky) was born in 1937 to Moshe and Shoshana in Tel Aviv. After finishing elementary school, Jacky attended night school to get his high school diploma. He enjoyed studying, and after finishing school went on to earn a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Technion Institute of Technology. He was well-loved for his good nature, decency, honesty and stoic nature. Jacky loved photography, enjoyed building his own furniture and constructing toys for his little son.

In 1955 Jacky enlisted to the IDF and joined the Armored Corps. He fought during the Sinai Campaign in 1957, and went to the IDF Officers’ School shortly after. He served for nine years in the IDF and built a military career, eventually rising to the rank of Major. Jacky served as a commander in several positions, and was even the head of the Gunnery Department in the Armored Corps School.

On the first day of the Six Day War, Jacky lead his soldiers into battle north of Um-Shichan in the Sinai Peninsula. Jacky was commanding his forces during the conquest of the Egyptian "Auckland" post, at the turret of his tank, when he was killed by enemy fire.

Major Ya'akov (Jacky) Ronen was laid to rest at the military cemetary in Kriyat Shaul and is survived by his wife and child.

Lieutenant Shmuel "Shmulik" Farkash

Shmuel was born on May 15, 1937 in Budapest, Hungary, to Abraham and Yehudith. In November 1946, Shmuel's family immigrated to Israel, where he studied and later graduated from David Kalai High School in Givatayim. He later went on to study accounting at the Tel Aviv University Social Studies Faculty, and worked as an auditor for several years. During his youth he was an active member in the Jewish youth movement HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (The Federation of Working and Studying Youth).

In October of 1956 Shmuel join the IDF and, after finishing his training, became a squad commander. But Shmuel aspired for more, and eventually went on to complete the IDF Officers School and become a platoon commander. After Shmuel finished his army service he continued to serve in the reserves. When the Six-Day-War broke out he and his battalion were called to arms for active duty.

On June 5, 1967 -- the first day of fighting -- Shmuel and his battalion were assigned to conquer a heavily fortified Jordanian post north-east of Jerusalem. In the midst of battle, Shmuel and other soldiers were caught under heavy artillery fire. Shmuel was hit and died in the field.

Lieutenant Shmuel Farkash was laid to rest in the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl and is survived by his wife and daughter.

Sergeant Shalom Silberman

Shalom was born on August 16, 1953 in Kiryat Atta to Esther and Sinai Silberman. He studied at a religious elementary school and graduated high school in Kiryat Atta. He was a tall boy with golden hair and blue eyes, full of boundless energy -- the unquestioned head of all physical activities in school. Shalom was an on-call usher and judge for sports events in his school, and his tall stature and superb physical condition allowed him to become one of the star basketball players for his hometown. His modesty, paired with kindness and a great sense of humor, earned him many friends, and his optimism made him a source of encouragement even in the most difficult moments.

In his initial draft interview with the IDF he was offered a number of good positions of his choosing. His status as star basketball player would have allowed him to serve in an undemanding position close to home. But Shalom would have none of that -- he announced emphatically that he would be a combat soldier, no matter what.

In November of 1971, Shalom was drafted into the IDF and, after completing basic training, he joined the special forces of the Golani Brigade where he excelled in all fields. By April 1973 he passed a squad commander's course and immediately afterwards went on to a specialized mortar operator course. Shalom was a good friend to all his subordinates but also knew how to be tough when necessary. In his unit he was known as an excellent mortar operator and his level of fitness was legendary. When the Yom Kippur War broke out, Shalom and his unit were stationed on the Golan Heights. On October 6th at 14:00 the Syrian Army launched an attack with heavy bombardment on their position.

Shalom hastened to man the mortars and began shelling the Syrian source of fire. While under fire himself, he steadily kept shooting round after round with great courage. After each shell he fired, his friends would call: "Shalom, are you okay?" to which he replied with "Everything's fine". When he didn't respond one time they ran to his position and found him dead.

Shalom's commander wrote to his family: "I hereby express my regret and sorrow at the loss of your son Shalom. His heroism and bravery will forever be remembered in the history of our people and his name will forever be engraved in the soil and rocks of our country."

Sergeant Shalom Silberman was laid to rest at a cemetery in Haifa and is survived by his parents and sister.

Private Rivkah "Regina" Salzman

Rivkah was born on May 7, 1929 to Shaindl and Shlomo Salzman in Tel Aviv. When she was just a year old her parents left the country and moved to Belgium. Rivkah was educated in a Belgian school and never learnt any Hebrew. Before she completed elementary school, the Nazis invaded Belgium in 1941. During the invasion Rivkah’s parents were murdered by Nazi soldiers, leaving both her and her sister orphaned. The two found refuge in a shelter for Jewish youth, where Rivkah began to look after the smaller children and took on the role of a caretaker.

In September 1945 Rivkah made Aliyah to Israel with a youth group and settled in a kibbutz, Ein Ha’Horesh. She studied agriculture for a period of two and a half years, after which she became a farmer.

Together with her friends, Rivkah joined the Palmach and moved to Nirim, a kibbutz in the Negev. Rivkah drew a lot of strength from the suffering she underwent in her youth and as a result was always very cheerful and optimistic. She knew what it meant to be an orphan, so many other orphans her age from the kibbutz came to her and poured their hearts out to her.

With the outbreak of the War of Independence in 1948 Rivkah took up arms along with the other defenders of the kibbutz and fought with great courage and dedication. On May 15, 1948, the invading Egyptian army began shelling the farms of Nirim and Rivkah was mortally wounded while defending her home.

Private Rivkah Salzman was laid to rest at the cemetery of Kibbutz Nirim.

Orly Ofir

Orly Ofir was born in 1986 in Haifa to Yossi and Shuli Ofir, as the youngest of three sisters. She loved soccer and played on Maccabi Haifa's girl soccer team. Orly's friends described her as a graceful, funny and happy girl who was beloved by all.

During the Passover holiday on March 31, 2002, Orly, her mother and two sisters went out for lunch in a local restaurant in Haifa called “Matza”. Three major suicide bombings had already taken place that Passover in Netanya, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and since "Matza" was owned by an Israeli-Arab, it was considered to be relatively safe.

Just after 2:30 pm that day, a terrorist entered the popular restaurant and detonated the bomb he was carrying. The massive explosion tore the roof off the building, instantly killing 14 people and injuring 40 more. Orly was heavily injured, but still conscious when the paramedics arrived to the scene. Shortly after arriving to the hospital, she succumbed to her wounds. Orly was 16 years old at the time of her death.

Orly Ofir was laid to rest at the Haifa cemetery, and is survived by her parents and two sisters.

Sergeant 1st Class Gad Isaac "Gadi" Ezra

Gad was born on June 24, 1979 as the third child of Sarah and Solomon in Bat-Yam. He was an exceptionally bright child, and spoke fluent Hebrew and French by the time he was two years old. Gad grew up in a religious Jewish and Zionist family and his parents instilled in him the values that would later characterize his life: love towards his fellow man, kindness, uncompromising honesty, charity, and public spirit. He had a warm personality and was unerringly benevolent towards his peers.

Gad was raised and educated in Bat-Yam, where he studied at the public elementary school until 7th grade, when he transferred to the “Bnei Akiva” yeshiva. He loved to study Torah, Talmud, Jewish philosophy and Judaism. His colleagues spoke of Gad as an idealist and a lover of mankind firmly guided by his principles.

Gad joined the youth organization Bnei Akiva and was an avid activist. Shortly after joining, he began instructing younger members at his local branch in Bat-Yam. He saw it as his mission to pass on the principles that guided his life. After school he continued his Torah studies at Or Etzion, where he studied with great enthusiasm and had a special rapport with the head of the yeshiva. In his spare time, Gad did volunteer work with sick and disabled children.

After two years of studying at Or Etzion, Gad felt it was time for his military service. At the age of 20, November 1999, he enlisted to the Golani Brigade. His friends from the unit viewed Gad as an affectionate giant with a heart of gold and great leadership qualities. He had the rare ability to connect to any person and talk to every person in their own language -- a “heart-to-heart”.

Gad applied for the commanders’ course and upon graduation, was promoted to Sergeant 1st Class. While in service Gad continued to study Torah and spent his free days from the army doing volunteer work.

Gad spent the eve of Passover in 2002 with his family, but the very next day he was called back to his unit following the Park Hotel Bombing in Netanya. Thus began Operation “Defensive Shield”, the Israeli response to the Second Intifada. By the second day of Passover Gad was already deeply entrenched in combat in Jenin, when another officer was hit by enemy fire. Gad rushed to evacuate the injured officer, but came under fire himself and died from his wounds. He was 23 at the time of his passing. Gad was posthumously decorated with a medal for his exemplary display of camaraderie, courage and the bravery to risk his own life for others’.

Sergeant 1st Class Gad Isaac Ezra was laid to rest in the military cemetery of Holon and is survived by his parents, four brothers and sisters, and his girlfriend Galit.

Lieutenant Eyal Wolf

Eyal was born on December 6, 1960 in Ramat HaSharon to Ralla and Benjamin Wolf. He attended primary school in Neve Magen and continued his studies at the Rothberg High School in Ramat HaSharon, graduating with a specialization in electronics. Eyal was the driving spirit behind many social activities at the school's clubs, and was active in the Civil Guard due to his strong sense of justice and sensitivity to the suffering of others. He was an excellent archer and even won first place in a competition. He loved motorcycles and race cars. In 1978, during a visit to England, he passed a course at a race car driving school and received a certificate allowing him to drive race cars.

Eyal wanted to serve in the IDF's Paratroopers Brigade but because of eyesight problems he was placed in a different combat unit. On February 4, 1979 he enlisted for service, completed several courses and by the end of the year was promoted to the rank of corporal. About half a year later Eyal was further promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and was sent to a course for liaison officers. He finished the course in April 1981 and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant. Eyal signed up for an additional year of service and by March 1982 reached the rank of Lieutenant.

During the 1st Lebanon War Eyal was assigned as a communications officer in an armored battalion. On June 9, 1982 the armored personnel carrier Eyal was riding in came under enemy fire near the village of Ain al-Hilweh. Eyal was lightly injured but refused to evacuate so he could come to the help of his more severely injured friends. In the course of the battle he was injured again and subsequently died during his evacuation. He was 21 at the time of his passing.

After his death then-Defense Minister Ariel Sharon wrote to his family: "Eyal was a communications officer with extensive professional knowledge, experience and plans to move to an elite unit. He always displayed initiative and resourcefulness, and was beloved by both his subordinates and commanders.”

Lieutenant Eyal Wolf was laid to rest at the Kiryat Shaul Military Cemetery in Tel Aviv and is survived by his parents and brother.

Sergeant First Class Eyal Tuvia Benin

Eyal was born on August 17, 1983 in Sasolburg, South Africa, to Daniella and Amir Benin. In 1985, Eyal and his parents moved to Omer in southern Israel, where he grew up. During his childhood years Eyal was very active in the Israeli scout movement, where he learned and strengthened the values that would shape his short life: leadership, camaraderie, and a strong love for Israel.

At the age of 16, Eyal moved to Tel-Aviv and graduated from the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium. Though Eyal made new friends in Tel-Aviv, he kept in touch with friends from Omer and continued to take part in summer activities by his former scouts group alongside his childhood friends. Eyal loved reading, watching movies, and riding his bike. He would take long bike trips, and many times traveled the long way from Tel-Aviv to Omer just by cycling.

Eyal insisted on serving in a combat unit in the IDF, despite being exempt due to being an only child. He convinced his parents to sign a waiver form, and subsequently joined the Nachal Infantry Brigade on November of 2001. Eyal was proud to take an active role in Israel’s defense, and after three years, finished his compulsory service on November of 2004 at the rank of Staff Sergeant.

After his service, Eyal traveled abroad. Upon returning to Israel he elected to move to Beersheba with a friend, so as to be closer to Alex, his girlfriend of the past six years, and the rest of his social circle. Eyal studied and passed the exams for the Hebrew University Law School in Jerusalem. Eyal and Alex were planning a short trip to China before moving in together in Jerusalem, when the 2nd Lebanon War broke out.

As a reserve soldier, Eyal and his infantry battalion were called to duty in northern Israel on June 18, 2006. A month before his 23rd birthday, Eyal entered combat with his unit near Zar'it, an Israeli outpost on the northern border. The unit came under enemy fire and Eyal was hit, dying in the line of duty.

Sergeant 1st Class Eyal Tuvia Benin was laid to rest at the Kiryat Shaul Military Cemetery in Tel Aviv and is survived by his parents.

Sergeant Eliyahu "Eli" Nurieli

Eli was born in Egypt in 1951 to Nahum and Victoria Nuriel and made aliyah with his family to Israel at the age of five. Eli's family settled in Rishon LeZion, where he finished elementary school. He went on to attend a local high school in Rehovot and graduated with high grades after three years, majoring in mechanics. His friends describe Eli as a very sociable teenager who loved life and always radiated cheerfulness. He would often go hiking and swimming with his close friends and loved to hang out at parties.

Eli was recruited to the IDF in February of 1969 and was assigned to the Ordnance Corps as a car mechanic. His skill and dexterity were noticed by his superiors, and he was appointed to be a vehicle inspector. Eli completed his compulsory three-year military service and on the day of his release, his commander wrote a glowing recommendation, stating that Eli "completed his work to the fullest satisfaction of his superiors and always displayed a high level of initiative and organizational ability." Eli was asked to sign on for an additional year of service. Recognizing the importance of the role offered to him, he accepted

In February 1973 Eli was released from the IDF and returned to civilian life. He began to work in a car garage in southern Tel Aviv. He was very close with his family, especially his mother, and gave her part of his salary every month. When the Yom Kippur war broke out in October 1973, Eli was called back to the IDF for reserve service and was in charge of vehicle maintenance in all of the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.

After he was discharged once again, Eli felt that he had more to contribute to the IDF and decided to return to active service as a career soldier. Upon his return to service he was put in charge of the vehicles of the IDF Officers’ School, which cadets would use when they went out to the field. At the end of 1974 he married his fiancée Ilana, and the young couple moved to Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv. Eli fell in the line duty on February 1, 1975, after only three months of marriage. He was 24 at the time of his passing.

Sergeant Eliyahu Nurieli is laid to rest in the military cemetery in Rishon LeZion and is survived by his wife, parents and six brothers and sisters.

Staff Sergeant Dvir Emanuelov

Dvir was born in 1986 in Jerusalem to Netanel and Dalya Emanuelov. He initially studied in ‘Maymon’ elementary school and later moved to the religious school ‘Givat Ze'ev’. Up until his bar mitzvah, Dvir was an energetic and mischievous child, but as he grew up he became less wild and more responsible. Particularly remarkable was his devotion to many fields of interest: school, family, friends, community service and his youth movement “Bnei Akivah”. He often volunteered in Magen David Adom, Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross, and delivered food to the needy in his spare time.

At the age of 18, Dvir decided to attend a “yeshivat hesder”, a program which combines advanced Judaism studies with military service. After a year in the program, Dvir’s father, Netanel, died from a deadly illness. A few months later, Dvir quit his studies at the yeshiva and decided to volunteer for military service as a combat soldier. He was recruited to the IDF in 2006 and was assigned to the Golani Brigade. After finishing basic training, he continued to an explosives and engineering platoon course, and later became a squad commander.

In December 2008, Dvir was sent to the Gaza Strip along with his soldiers during the second stage of Operation Cast Lead. Moments before entering the Strip he sent his last text message to his mother: “Take care of yourselves, I’ll take care of myself, and with the help of God we’ll restore Israel’s dignity”.

On January 4, 2009, Dvir’s unit was ambushed by terrorists in the midst of the Jabaliya refugee camp. Dvir was operating as the rear guard for his platoon and came under fire first. Mortally wounded, he fell while defending his soldiers. He was 22 at the time of his passing.

Staff Sergeant Dvir Emanuelov was laid to rest in the national military cemetery at Mount Herzl. He is survived by his mother, sisters and brothers.

Colonel Dror Yitzhak Weinberg

Dror was born on October 26, 1964 as the eldest child of Batsheva and Uriel Weinberg in Kfar Saba. Dror was raised to be a humble, honest child. Growing up, he always had high ambitions and was known for constantly testing his limits, living life to the fullest. He drew his love for Israel and its landscapes from the open fields surrounding his childhood home. When Dror was a child, two of his uncles were killed in battle during the Six Day War. Knowing their deaths contributed to Israel's victory in the war strengthened his deep connection to the country.

Dror was born and raised in Kfar Saba, where he studied until middle school. He then transferred to the religious school "Midrashat Noam" in Pardes-Hanna. As an energetic and joyful teenager, he never spent too much time studying; instead he chose to travel around Israel with his friends. Even at a young age, he took out in a crowd; a natural leader, ambitious, and a loyal friend above all. Between the years 1980-1983 Dror studied at the high school yeshiva "Jerusalem’s Yeshiva Near the Rav's Center". In Jerusalem, Dror's love for the Torah and the values it represented grew and deepened.

After completing his studies, Dror joined the IDF and decided to volunteer to the elite and secret unit, Sayeret Matkal. Though Dror injured both his knees in preparation to the unit’s tryouts, he overcame the pain through sheer willpower and passed. Upon completing Sayeret Matkal’s rigorous advanced training, Dror went on to the IDF Officers’ School and returned to the unit as a platoon commander. During his service in the unit, Dror took part in a number of covert operations and even received an honorary medal for his part in one of them.

Dror married his girlfriend Hadasa in 1986, while still serving as a platoon commander in Sayeret Matkal. Dror and Hadasa settled down in Jerusalem, where they had six children: Yoav, Yael, Eytan, Yishai, Ori-Avraham and Dror-Nechamia who was born after Dror's death and subsequently named after him. Dror was a devoted husband and a loving father. He used to travel with his children a lot, instilling them with the same love of Israel that he felt.

Dror rose through the ranks, eventually being promoted to a Colonel after serving as an operations officer, commander of the Paratrooper’s 890th Battalion, and commander of the elite unit “Maglan”, which specialized in operating behind enemy lines. Dror was known for having high standards, and at the same time being attentive to his soldiers’ smallest needs. Eventually he took a break from the army to study Political Science and Middle East Studies. After completing his first degree in 2001, Dror came back to the army as Commander of the Judea Regional Brigade.

In his current position Dror was determined to fight terror, which, during the days of the second Intifada, was daily killing Israeli civilians. Dror initiated a new fighting technique which is still used nowadays -- isolating terrorists while trying to minimize the effect on civilian lives. As part of his role, Dror worked with the Shin Bet (ISA) and was deeply appreciated by the organization.

On the night of November 15, 2002, Palestinian terrorists opened fire and threw grenades at Jews returning home from the Shabbat prayers at the Cave of Patriarchs in Hebron. Dror, who was commander of the Hebron Brigade, arrived to the scene with his men and began to pursue the terrorist. In the ensuing exchange of fire, Dror was mortally wounded and died in the field.

After Dror's death, Maj. Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky said that he had served in a number of senior field positions, "all of them with excellence and in a way that so characterized him: determination, absolute faith in the justice of his cause, leadership, and remarkable self-control, especially in difficult and unpredictable situations -- and all with a wonderful sensitivity for human life and feelings."

Dror was laid to rest at the military cemetery of Kfar Saba. He is survived by his wife and six children, his parents, and three brothers and sisters.

Private Dov Gruner Hadad

Dov was born on July 9, 1950 to David and Fortuna in Jerusalem. As a student, Dov took great pride in being named after Dov Gruner, a Hungarian-born Zionist activist and a member of the pre-state Jewish underground organization, “Irgun”. Dov spent his early years in Jerusalem until his family moved to Yaffo, where he attended elementary school and then moved on to high school in Tel Aviv. He loved sports and was an avid weight-lifter and pole-jumper. Most of his spare time was spent birdwatching and taking care of the local aviary. He was a pleasant child by nature and didn’t trouble his parents.

Dov enlisted to the IDF in 1968 and was positioned in the Armored Corps. His unit was deployed to the area around the Suez Canal; he was very happy about the opportunity to serve there. After he finished the first three months of his service near the Suez Canal, Dov was supposed to move to the northern command, but a lack of tank drivers forced him to stay in the Sinai Peninsula.

During his time at the Suez Canal, the War of Attrition broke out in March 1969. On April 10, 1969, during an Egyptian attack on his outpost, Dov and his tank crew were caught in the line of enemy fire. Dov didn’t survive. He was 19 at the time of his passing.

Private Dov Gruner Hadad was laid to rest in a cemetery in Kiryat Shaul and is survived by his parents.

Private Benjamin (Benny) Bougadry

Benjamin was born in June 1943 to Shlomo and Nezza in Margah, Iraq. He immigrated with his family to Israel in 1951, and settled in the town of Sderot, in southern Israel. He was a member of the youth movement HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (The Federation of Working and Studying Youth) and was a member of the “Youth Battalions”. Upon graduating from high school Benny enrolled to night classes in business management, and eventually became a metalworker. He started working for “Mekorot” industries, Israel’s water company.

Due to his family's dire financial situation, Benny was exempt from the usual mandatory period in the IDF, working to support his parents instead. He was famously a family man, always loyal to his parents and blood relatives, constantly helping out wherever he could. He was adored by his peers for this, renowned as an honest, straightforward and pleasant man. In May 1962, he began to serve in an IDF reserve unit, already a married man. It is during this period that his two children were born.

On June 5, 1967, during the first day of the Six-Day War, Benny's unit was sent to the the A-Kubeh outpost on the outskirts of Gaza to combat the threat from the Strip. He led the men into the battlefield, the first to charge. Minutes later he was gunned down by enemy fire. He was 24 at the time of his passing.

After his death, a Torah scroll was dedicated in his name to “Magen Avot” synagogue in Jaffa, which Benny frequented often.

Private Benjamin (Benny) Bougadry was laid to rest in the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl and is survived by his wife and two children.

Ariel Darhi

Ariel was born in 1975 to Shalom and Miriam in Bat-Yam. Ariel studied at the local high school, majoring in electronics and graduating with honors -- this despite his father passing away unexpectedly during his teenage years.

After graduating, Ariel joined the IDF and served in the Air Force as a skilled F-16 mechanic. He was a dedicated soldier and was even awarded a certificate of excellence during his service. Ariel finished his service in 1997 from the IDF at the rank of Staff Sergeant. After the army, Ariel started work in marketing and advertising for several media companies. He loved sports and led an active lifestyle, and was described as smart, humble and loving.

On April 17, 2006, Ariel stopped for lunch at "Rosh Ha'ir" near the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station. While he was eating, a suicide bomber burst into the restaurant and self-detonated, instantly killing Ariel and 10 others. Ariel was 31 years old at the time of his passing.

Ariel Darhi was laid to rest in the “Yarkon” cemetary in Tel-Aviv, and is survived by his mother and two brothers.

Sergeant Major Annan Kadur

Annan was born on November 9, 1971 in the Druze village Daliat Al-Carmel to Amana and Nazeeh Kadur. He studied and graduated from his local high school, where he was very popular among his classmates and was described as the "head" at every event and activity, in and out of school. His friends used to call him the “king of the class”. Annan was a very good friend and created a great atmosphere wherever he was, winning the hearts of everyone with his captivating smile. He loved music, traveling, riding ATVs, and playing soccer.

Annan's father was a career soldier and it was Annan's dream to enlist to the Paratroopers Brigade. His dream came true in 1989, when he joined the army and became a paratrooper. He began his service as a frontline fighter in the brigade but quickly rose to the rank of sergeant major in his company and eventually became a career soldier like his father. Annan was a full-fledged paratrooper--he served faithfully and was very proud about the path he chose. He carried out his duties above and beyond what was necessary and was described as professional, responsible and organized, an exemplary military man, admired by his superiors, subordinates and friends.

In April of 1993 Annan was hit in the neck by a stray bullet during training but his life was saved after a complex procedure and he continued to serve in the military. On January 22, 1995 a terrorist executed a suicide bombing at the HaSharon-Beit Lid junction. Annan, who was at the scene during the attack, started treating the victims of a first explosion when he was caught in a second detonation, which went off seconds later.

Before his death, Annan was the Paratroopers Brigade's nominee for the IDF Chief of Staff's Excellency Award. The brigade decided that his parents and fiancée would receive the award in his name.

Sergeant Major Annan Kadur was laid to rest at the cemetery in Isfiya and is survived by his parents, three brothers and sisters, and his fiancée, Anat.

Sergeant Adi Cohen

Adi was born in 1987 to Yoram and Tzipora Cohen in Hadera. He studied at Hadera almost his entire life, and considered it to be his home. Living by the sea, Adi enjoyed swimming and surfing, as well as sports, volunteer work, and playing the guitar. His family and friends describe him as a man destined for greatness: someone who never gave up, never surrendered, and always achieved what he set his mind to. He was beloved by everyone, helping out and pushing others to succeed. His friends say he was like a brother; pure-hearted, brave and resourceful.

Adi joined the IDF in 2005 and passed the tryouts for the Paratroopers Brigade. He successfully finished basic and advanced training, constantly supporting his friends through the rough weeks. He proved himself as a reliable and devoted soldier and was granted the vital role of personal signal operator for the commanding sergeant of his platoon. After months of training, Adi and his friends were granted a week’s vacation in Ashkelon, which was unfortunately cut short due to the outbreak of the 2nd Lebanon War.

One week into the war, Adi was miraculously saved from a Hezbollah rocket launched at the building his platoon was positioned in. A commander and several soldiers were killed in the attack, and Adi took part in evacuating the wounded. Adi received a 24-hour vacation to attend his brother’s bar mitzvah, but was called back to action shortly thereafter. On August 2, 2006, Adi was part of a small force sent on an observation mission in Ayta al-Shab, a village in southern Lebanon. The squad set up an observation point in an abandoned building overlooking the area, when they were attacked by a Hezbollah terrorist squad. The terrorists fired three rockets at them, one which mortally wounded Adi, who later died of his injuries. He was 19 at the time of his passing.

Sergeant Adi Cohen was laid to rest at the military cemetery in Hadera and is survived by his parents and three brothers.

2nd Lieutenant Abraham Copperstein

Abraham was born in 1953 to Ephraim and Liza in Haifa. He was an honorary student with a particular love for mathematics, and won several competitions in Math, Physics and chess. Abraham loved sports and was a member of the youth movement HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (The Federation of Working and Studying Youth). His friends speak of him as intelligent, fun, loving and irrepressibly positive.

Abraham joined the IDF on February 1972 and was recruited to the Infantry Corps. He excelled in his training and was subsequently assigned to serve in "Haruv", an elite unit specializing in anti-guerrilla warfare. He completed several courses in the army, such as combat parachuting course, combat fitness instructors’ course and commanders’ course. He was also sent to the IDF Officers’ School and planned to continue a military career, but unfortunately never finished the course. Shortly afterwards, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War he served in the Golan Heights and helped combat the Syrian invasion into Israel.

April 21, 1974 was the battle of Mount Hermon -- the fight to conquer what is today Israel’s northernmost mountain peak. Abraham fought against the Syrian commando forces, but was severely injured during the battle and died shortly thereafter.

2nd Lieutenant Abraham Copperstein was laid to rest at the military cemetery in Haifa and is survived by his parents and two siblings.

Sergeant 1st Class Yossef Avnery

Yossef was born in 1951 to Arye and Haddas in Dorot, a small kibbutz. When he was one year old his family moved to the kibbutz Hagoshrim, where he grew up and studied in “Har-VaGai” community school. Despite certain physical limitations, Yosef led an active lifestyle, loved hiking and playing sports. He enjoyed studying history and current events, and was known among his peers as knowledgeable in many topics. He volunteered with at-risk youth and was always ready to extend a helping hand. Yossef loved the kibbutz and was a great believer in the communal lifestyle. He endorsed equality and promoted sharing resources and services equally.

Yossef enlisted to the IDF in November of 1971. His physical limitations did not stop him from completing basic training, and he was one of the soldiers who inspired others and helped boost morale. Yossef joined the Armored Corps as an Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) driver. He was sent to the commanders’ course and became a commander of an APC. Yossef spent most of his service in the Sinai Peninsula, patrolling the Suez Canal. One time his APC drove over a landmine while on patrol, but miraculously no soldier was hurt.

During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Yossef’s force was tasked with “purifying” an area surrounding the Suez Canal of enemy forces. On October 6, 1973, one of the battles ensued. Yossef was manning the machine gun of the company commander's APC, when suddenly the vehicle was hit by a mortar, killing Yossef and three other soldiers. Yossef was 22 at the time of his passing.

Sergeant 1st Class Yossef Avnery was laid to rest in the cemetary in the Hagoshrim kibbutz, and is survived by his parents and sister.