2nd Lt. Bar Rahav
Died aged 21 in 2014
Killed by an anti-tank missile fired at his position in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge
Bar was born on June 26, 1993, in Ramat Yishai, and was his parents' eldest child. He was born into a family of water polo players and made the sport a significant part of his life. Bar played for the Hapoel Kiryat Tivon team, and captained the youth squad, leading them to a national championship gold. Later on, he played for Israel’s National Water Polo Team, representing the country in championships around the world. As an outstanding athlete, he was offered special benefits from the IDF that would allow him to continue to train on a daily basis, but Bar chose to become a combat soldier instead. He joined the 605th Battalion of the Combat Engineering Corps in March 2012, and finished his basic training as an exemplary soldier. A year into his service, Bar began training to become a commander, and later on continued to the IDF’s Officers Course. Right before he was meant to return to the Combat Engineering Corps, Bar and his squad from the Officers Course were sent to Gaza to join the Paratroopers brigade in Operation Protective Edge. In the afternoon of July 19, 2014, Bar was killed by an anti-tank missile that was fired by terrorists towards his position in Gaza. Bar was laid to rest at the Kiryat Tivon Military Cemetery. 3,500 people came to honor him for the last time, including his two parents, three siblings, extended family, fellow athletes and friends.
Barak Refael Degorker
Sgt. First Class (res.) Barak Refael Degorker
Died aged 27 in 2014
Killed by mortar fire on the border of the Gaza Strip during a humanitarian ceasefire that took place during Operation Protective Edge.
Barak Refael was born on October 18, 1986 to Ora and Moshe Degorker in Gan Yavne. He was the oldest brother to Yosef Sahar and Eliran. He was part of the Bene-Israel community which has origins in the Indian region of Mumbai.
Barak Refael had just finished law school and was about to begin work as an intern at a law firm.
Barak Refael did his mandatory service in the Combat Engineering Corps and continued his reserve service there. Barak Refael and his two brothers, Sahar and Eliran, were called up for reserve duty following the start of Operation Protective Edge in July 2014.
During Operation Protective Edge, he was stationed close to the Gaza border when he was injured by mortar fire. Barak Refael died from his wounds on July 27, 2014.
His relatives considered him a young and cheerful man who was always willing to help. His brothers saw him as a role model and followed his lead by drafting into the IDF. His friends in the army described him as intelligent and one who always did more than was required of him.
Barak Refael was buried in his hometown of Gan Yane. He is survived by his parents and two brothers.
Capt. Dmitri Levitas
Died aged 26 in 2014
Killed by sniper fire in the Gaza Strip during Operation Protective Edge.
Dmitri (Dima) was born to Marina and Alexander Levitas on September 27, 1988 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and was a brother to Anna and Daniel. In 1990, Dmitri and his family immigrated to Israel.
About 11 years ago, Capt. Levitas moved with his family from Kibbutz Gashur in the Golan Heights to Jerusalem. Dmitri kept in touch with his friends from the kibbutz and a few years ago decided to return.
Dmitri was a skilled soccer player and loved playing goalie in his local soccer league. He was a great friend and sibling who strived for excellence and represented high ideals. A friend described him as one who always loved and cared for his soldiers as if they were his own children.
He enlisted into the IDF on March 18, 2007 as a soldier in the Armored Corps. He went on to Officers Course and upon completion, he continued his service in the same unit.
On July 22, 2014, Dmitri fell in battle during Operation Protective Edge – along with Capt. Natan Cohen – following a sniper attack on their position in the Gaza Strip.
Dmitri is the first casualty of Kibbutz Gashur since its foundation in 1978.
Dmitri was 25 when he was killed. He was buried at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery.
Sgt.Maj. Bayhesain Kshaun
Died aged 39 in 2014
Killed following an infiltration of a terrorist cell from a tunnel next to Kibbutz Nir Am
Baynesain Ksahun was born on January 2, 1975 to parents Mulo and Baynesain in Ethiopia. He was the fourth child in the family and brother to Shlomo, Bro, Miriam, Nissan, and Asher.
He moved from Ethiopia to Israel in 1989 and drafted into the Israel Defense Forces in 1993. He went on to marry his wife, Galito, and lived with their children in Netivot.
Baynesain Ksahun was a scout fighter for the Gaza Division's Northern Brigade, who was deployed in the area to manage an infiltration incident in Kibbutz Nir Am. His wife was in her ninth month of pregnancy. The couple has three other children. Upon learning of his death, dozens of friends and relatives came to his parents' home in Netivot to pay their condolences. He posthumously received a citation following his death in Operation Protective Edge.
Ksahun's neighbors described him as a man who loved to help everyone: "He was a very modest man, and pleasant, with an inner quiet and a smile on his face, who never did anything bad," they said. "His family does not deserve this. Netivot Mayor Yehiel Zohar said following Ksahun's death: "The whole city bows its head and is mourning with the family for the loss of a son, a husband and a father."
Lt. Col. Dolev Keidar
Died aged 38 in 2014
Killed in an altercation with Hamas terrorists during Operation Protective Edge.
Dolev Keidar was born in Kfar Saba, Israel on October 26, 1976. He was the son of Eli and Drorit and brother to Rotem and Yogev. Dolev was raised in Kfar Saba. His high school principal remembers him as an intelligent, curious, sociable, involved and beloved student, who was always surrounded by friends. In his youth, he stood out as a talented tennis player and a gifted singer and actor in the “Kfar Saba Youth Band.” Dolev was always ambitious and active, in everything he pursued.
When he drafted to the IDF, he promised his father, Eli, that he would excel at everything he would do in the army, and he made good on that promise. Dolev drafted to the IDF in March 1995, and was a soldier in the Givati Brigade's Reconnaissance Battalion. He then went on to Officers Course, which he graduated in excellence. After finishing his obligatory service, he continued in the IDF as a career soldier, and continued his service as an officer in the Givati Brigade. Later on, he returned to Givati's Reconnaissance Battalion as its commander, and then served as the commander of the brigade’s “Rotem” Battalion.
Dolev studied law and obtained his M.A. in law studies.
He left Kfar Saba and moved to Modi’in, where he lived with his wife, Michal Kestan. Together, they welcomed three children: Maya, Uri and Guy. His wife, Michal, wrote and directed a documentary film about her life as the wife of a soldier in career service, in which she described the difficulties of contending with his absences.
Dolev was a very committed soldier, who was always there for his colleagues and the soldiers under his command. They describe him as a fearless leader, who was always the first soldier on the line and who was known for instilling confidence and motivation in his soldiers. His friends and family stress that before being an outstanding commander, he was first and foremost an honest, loving, modest, professional and responsible man.
Dolev’s last role in the IDF was as battalion commander in Bahad 1, the IDF’s officer training school.
During Operation Protective Edge, on July 21, 2014, Dolev received an alert about suspicious activity somewhere near a populated area. He decided to evaluate the situation and drove to the area. Two antitank missiles were fired at his vehicle. He and two of his soldiers left the vehicle and were killed during the ensuing battle with terrorists. In his act, Dolev prevented a massive attack on the Israeli population in the area.
Dolev was 38 when he died. He was brought to eternal rest in the military burial plot in the Modi’in cemetery. After his death, he was awarded a citation by the GOC of the IDF Southern Command.
First Lt. Hadar Goldin
Died aged 23 in 2014
Killed by terrorists in a Hamas terror tunnel in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge.
First Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was born in Eshhar (a mixed community of secular and religious people) on February 18, 1991 to Leah-Hedva and Simcha Goldin. Hadar was the youngest brother in his family, and had three other siblings: an older sister Ayelet, older brother Hemi and twin brother Tzur, who was born five minutes after him.
Hadar and his twin brother Tzur were both described as happy and energetic toddlers. As small children, they learned together how to paint, sculpt and play the guitar. Together, they attended the “Bnei Akiva” religious youth movement and over time, became counselors in the movement. They both attended the Science and Technology School in Kfar Batya. After they graduated from high school, they went to a pre-military prep school.
Having finished his studies at the prep school, he enlisted in the Givati Brigade. There, Hadar developed the important values of professionalism, volunteerism, optimism and helping and accepting others. He was described as a soldier who accomplished every task he was given with a smile on his face. At the end of basic training, he was recognized for being the outstanding soldier in his squad, a title he received three more times throughout his service. After graduating from Officers Course, Hadar requested to take on a commanding role in the training of the new recruits of the Givati Reconnaissance Battalion.
After three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered in June 2014, Hadar decided to propose to his long-time girlfriend, Edna Sarusi. Their families celebrated the engagement, and a wedding date was set. After that, Hadar returned to the Givati Reconnaissance Battalion.
In July 2014, Operation Protective Edge began. As his unit was preparing for the operation in the staging area, Hadar was simultaneously working on his wedding invitations.
On August 1, 2014, during one of the operation’s many humanitarian ceasefires, a force from the Givati Reconnaissance Battalion uncovered a Hamas lookout on a rooftop in Rafah. The commander of the Givati Reconnaissance Battalion, Maj. Bnaya Sarel, decided to capture and neutralize the suspect without opening fire. The force under his command started scanning the house in which the Hamas lookout was hiding. Suddenly, a Hamas terrorist exited a hidden terror tunnel shaft and opened fire towards the force. As a result, Maj. Sarel died. Hadar is believed to have been dragged into the terror tunnel by the terrorist who had just killed his commander. In the first hours after these events had taken place, the IDF believed that he may have been kidnapped, which arose an intense public interest and many prayers regarding his fate. Eventually, his family and fiancee were informed that he was captured and killed at the hands of Hamas terrorists.
Hadar left behind his parents, siblings, friends, soldiers and a very memorable legacy. His dream was to bring together all of Israel’s citizens – religious and secular, Ashkenazi and Sephardic, men and women, Jews, Christians and Muslims alike. Hadar’s most famous saying was: “You have two options in life; concentrating on yourself, or doing something worthy, something better.”
His fiancee, Edna, spoke of how proud she was of Hadar when she visited him in the army and saw how he treated the soldiers under his command. “I thought we would be together forever,” she said. “I love you so much, and I miss you so much.”
Hadar was 23 years old at the time of his death. He was put to eternal rest in the military cemetery in Kfar Saba. Hadar was posthumously promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant.
Staff Sgt. Moshe Malko
Died aged 20 in 2014
Killed during fighting in the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City during Operation Protective Edge.
Moshe Malko was born in 1994 to parents Lekchi and Aiyo in Jerusalem, and was one of nine siblings.
Moshe was a community activist and was known as a student who was always smiling and surrounded by friends. Following the murder of his brother, Moshe committed himself to his family and dedicated himself to helping his parents and siblings. He helped pay his family's bills and hoped to rise professionally in the army in order to financially support his family.
Moshe always dreamed of serving in the Golani Brigade and worked hard in order to reach that goal. In 2012, Moshe drafted into the IDF as a combat soldier in the Reconnaissance Battalion of the Golani Brigade.
Moshe fell in battle on July 20, 2014 in the Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City during Operation Protective Edge.
He is remembered as a courageous man and one who loved his friends, family, and fellow soldiers.
Moshe was buried at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem.
Staff Sgt. Jordan Bensemhoun
Died aged 22 in 2014
Killed by an antitank missile which was fired at the military vehicle he was riding in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge
Jordan was born on April 19, 1992 in France to parents Josiane and Philippe. He was the second child in his family and had two sisters: Lauren and Karen.
He moved to Israel from Lyon France in 2008 at the age of 16 and settled in Ashkelon. He then went on to complete his secondary studies in Israel.
Jordan was keen to serve in a combat unit, and enlisted into the IDF as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade in 2012. He planned on making a career in the IDF. His commanding officer described him as a committed soldier who had to be convinced to take leave to visit his family in France.
His sister said that he represented courageousness and humility, and was a perfect son and brother. His cousin, Alexander Guedj, recently joined the IDF and said that Jordan helped him a lot with the process of immigrating to Israel and joining the army.
He was among three lone soldiers – soldiers who’s parents live outside of Israel – who were killed in separate incidents in the Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiyya.
Thousands attended Jordan’s funeral in Ashkelon. He is survived by his parents, two sisters, and girlfriend.
Nissim Sean Carmeli
Staff Sgt. Nissim Sean Carmeli
Died aged 21 in 2014
Killed by an antitank missile that hit the armored personnel carrier he was in during Operation Protective Edge.
Nissim Sean Carmeli was born on December 12, 1993 in South Padre, Texas to parents Dalia and Alon. He was the younger brother of Gal and Or.
Nissim Sean immigrated to Israel while he was in high school. He still held deep ties to the community in Texas, and kept in touch with the Chabad rabbi there. While he was technically a lone soldier without his parents in Israel, he was very close with his parents, sisters, and nieces.
Nissim Sean loved sports and spending time with his friends. He was an avid fan of Maccabi Haifa.
Nissim Sean drafted into the IDF on February 19, 2012 as a combat soldier in the Golani Brigade. He served in the brigade with distinction and a was a very motivated soldier.
On the night of July 20, 2014, Sean was killed by an anti-tank missile that struck the armored personnel carrier he was travelling in. He was one of the thirteen casualties of the Golani Brigade killed in the Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiyya that night.
Due to a foot injury, Sean was told by his officer that he was not required to go to the frontlines but he insisted on volunteering and serving with his friends. Following his death, there was a fear that attendance at his funeral would be small due to most of his family being abroad. Maccabi Haifa was aware of Nissim Sean’s support of the club and posted details on the funeral. Over 20,000 people from all walks of life attended the funeral.
Sean was buried in the Haifa Military Cemetery. He is survived by his parents and his two sisters.
Major Yochai Kalangel
Died aged 25 in 2015
Killed in January 2015 when Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at his vehicle as he was patrolling the Lebanese border.
Yochai was born on August 7, 1989 in Elazar, a community in Gush Etzion, as the second of six siblings – five boys and one girl.
In 2008, he drafted into the IDF as a combat soldier and made his way up the ranks. He became a commander of the assisting company to the “Tzabar” Battalion of the Nahal Brigade.
Yochai married his wife Tali in 2012 and the two lived in the Har Gilo community in central Israel. The couple gave birth to a young girl. Tali was pregnant with their second child when Yochai was killed.
Yochai’s family members described him as dedicated father and husband. His soldiers looked up to him and his commanders respected his unique leadership skills. In May 2014, he received a citation from then IDF Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, as an outstanding officer.
Yochai was killed as he was patrolling the Lebanese border. Hezbollah terrorists ambushed the vehicle he was in and fired five Kornet anti-tank missiles towards it.
Yochai was buried at Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his family, friends and fellow soldiers.
Pvt. Ruti Shuster
Died aged 19 in 1973
Killed in a car accident while in service
Ruti, the 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 died in a car accident 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
Died aged 29 in 1973
Fell several years after fighting honorably in the Six Day War
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 “Work and Study” youth movement.
Asher enlisted to 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 work, 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
Died aged 21 in 1973
Fell in the line of duty after participating in several armored raids in Lebanon.
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 youth 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 armed 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
Died aged 20 in 1973
Killed in the line of duty
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 activities, from organizing class outings to participating in the school’s dance troupe, where he performed at 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, Cpl. Nedem was killed in the line of duty. He was laid to rest in a military cemetery in Nahariya.
Pvt. Ohed Afutah
Died aged 20 in a traffic accident
Ohed was born in Ashkelon in January, 1977 to parents Lidisia and Shlomo. Ohed was the fifth child out of seven. He finished high school with honors while simultaneously volunteering for the Civil Guard and his community center. Ohed was very talented. He was a great artist, excelled in technology and loved music and traveling.
At the beginning of August 1995, Ohed drafted to the IDF and was immediately placed in the commanders base for field soldiers. On August 20, 1997, Ohed died in a motor vehicle accident on a road in Ashkelon.
Pvt. Levi Ismailov (Luba)
Levi Ismailov, son of Yechia and Beji, was born on May 3, 1939 in Tbilisi -Georgia. 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 in the Kargal factory in Lod. Though he never sought praise, his great skill was noticed by all.
As a young man Ami 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.
In a letter of condolence written to his family, Ami’s commander wrote: ”Ami was an exemplary fighter squadron commander, a man who constantly led his soldiers forward.
Lt. Col. Ami Gadish (Goldstein)
Died aged 33 in 1973
Fell in the line of duty several years after fighting in the Six Day War
Ami Gadish was the son of Shlomo and Miriam, and was born on the 2nd June, 1940 in Kiryat Haim, near Haifa. He enlisted to the IDF 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 as a 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 overcame even under intense pressure, Ami never forgot how to handle the IDF's secret weapon - people. His students and subordinates loved and admired him.
On the 3rd of October, 1973, pilot Lt. Col. Ami Gadish fell in the line of duty, and was buried in the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul. He left behind a wife and three daughters.
Staff Sgt. Pavel Slutsker
Died aged 20 in 2006
Killed in battle after Palestinian terrorists infiltrated Israel
Staff Sgt. Pavel Slutsker, son of Lidia and Yevgeny, was born on July 18th, 1985 in the Magadan Region in the former Soviet Union. 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 the family established themselves. Pavel was a talented boy who showed interest in many different subjects. Pavel had a very high inclination for languages and could 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 to receive a scholarship for a complete a law degree.
At the end of November 2004, Pavel joined the army and began his training as 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, near Gaza, 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 killed him instantly. When the explosion hit other soldiers in the tank, Cpl. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. Pavel was just 20 when he was killed.
Lt. Hanan Barak
Died aged 20 in 2006
Killed in battle after Palestinian terrorists infiltrated Israel
Hanan, son of Nelly and David, was born on August 18, 1985 in Haifa.
As a student, Hanan loved to paint and draw, demonstrating exceptional talent. He worked hard in school and earned praise and respect 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 as an outstanding soldier, rising 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 fighting aged just 20. In the middle of the night, a force of eight armed Palestinians infiltrated 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.
Amongst his possessions was a manifesto for tank commanders in which he had written: "Human dignity and respect are supreme values." That is the legacy that Lt. Hanan Barak left behind for his soldiers, commanders, friends and family.
Staff Sgt. Jawdat Abu Rakiah
Died aged 28 in 2006
Fell in the line of duty
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 his 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 also 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.
Second Lt. Mordechai Garidi
Died aged 20 in 1974
Killed by terrorists during the Kiryat Shmona Massacre
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 mission no matter how difficult, 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: "Second 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."
Cpl. Suheil Abazak
Died aged 20 in 1974
Killed by terrorists during the Kiryat Shmona Massacre.
Suheil Abazak was born on the 31st of July, 1954 in Tarhisha. His mother was a muslim and father a policeman and member 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 memory and his contribution were left, and they will accompany us forever as a living torch that will light our way day and night.”
Sgt. Shamai Tiecher
Died aged 23 in 1974
Killed during the Yom Kippur War as he volunteered to serve on the front lines.
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 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. Shamai was hospitalized for the following four months of his injury, but did not regain consciousness. Shamai passed away on March 6th, 1974. He left behind his parents and a brother.
Died aged 20 in 2000
Shlomo was born in Laos, Nigeria on on the 18th November, 1980. His family was Christian and his father was a priest, the head of a devoted community. His father was very attracted to Judaism and decided to convert the family to Judaism when Shlomo was 6 years old. His father decided to transform his church into a synagogue. After a difficult youth, aggravated by poverty, Shlomo immigrated to Israel in 1997 with his father and two sisters. They left their mother behind.
They started their journey in the integration center of Beer Sheva before moving to Dimona. Shlomo learned Hebrew in school and went on to study in an professional high school. He trained to be a driver for the army but decided to become a combat soldier. In November 1997, after beginning his army, Shlomo’s family moved to England and he was left to live in an IDF soldier’s house in Beer Sheva. He was later adopted through a program for lone soldiers by a family on Kibbutz Tseelim. His transfer to the Kibbutz changed Shlomo’s life and gave him much happiness. He quickly became a member of the family.
Shlomo was very motivated to serve in the Nahal Brigade and received the nickname of ‘small price’ by his peers, setting an example to the others. On November 1st, 2000, Shlomo was part of an exchange of fire in Bethlehem. He was killed by a Palestinian sniper in the village of Al-Hader. Five other soldiers were injured during the incident. Shlomo was buried in the Kibbutz Tseelim cemetery.
Lt. Col. Yehuda, commander of Shlomo’s battalion, wrote to his family: “He fulfilled his duty in an extraordinary way and was an example to all the combatants of our battalion. His professionalism, his determination, his courage and his focus on the goals made him a soldier of a rare kind. His smiles and songs lead and motivated his friends, uniting all of us as one.”
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.
Sgt. Aaron Azlan
Died at age 21 in 1974
Killed on the Syrian border during the War of Attrition
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 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.
SFC Shlomo Uziel
Died at age 24 in 1974
Killed by enemy fire on Mt. Hermon after volunteering for a mission
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, Maj. Ya'acov, said: "Despite his parents' fears, he came to serve for more time under severe and tiring 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 didn’t 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 how much he was loved by his superiors and subordinates alike".
Sgt. Dan Farkash
Died aged 22 in 1974
Killed in an aerial crash above the Machanayim Air Field
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 to 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 paratroopers’ 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 when on April 4, 1974, Dan was killed in an aerial crash above the Machanayim air field. He was laid to rest at the Kiryat Shaul cemetery. He left behind his wife, parents and two sisters.
Sgt. Eliezer Tamar
Died aged 22 in 1974
Killed in an helicopter accident while serving in the IAF.
Eliezer, son of Miriam and Yaakov and brother of Osnat, was born in Bat Yam on Monday, December 31, 1951, on 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 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.
Lt. Michael Nir Soponro
Died aged 22 in 1974
Killed in a helicopter accident in the War of Attrition
Lt. Michael Nir Soponro, son of Yona and Tony, was born on October 10th, 1952 in Beer Sheva. Michael was very energetic and sociable, viewed by his friends and colleagues 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 participated in science-oriented youth conferences.
Michael had been very interested in aviation since childhood and he made model airplanes and read everything he could about planes. In January of 1971, Michael was drafted into the IDF and was placed in the Air Force. Following basic training, he trained in the pilots 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. 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 served 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.
Maj. Ya'akov “Jacky” Ronen
Died aged 30 in 1967
Killed on the first day of the Six Day War while commanding his forces.
Ya’akov “Jacky” Ronen 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.
Maj. Ya'akov |Jacky” Ronen was laid to rest at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul and is survived by his wife and child.
Pvt. Yaakov Weizman
Died aged 19 in 1949
Killed while on duty in the IAF
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 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.
Died aged 28 in 2005
Killed by a suicide bomber in front of the Stage nightclub in Tel Aviv
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 fiancé of four years, Ofir, and had just begun to invite people to their wedding which would have been in the next 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 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.
Staff Sgt. Meir-Israel Gottlieb
Died aged 23 in 1974
Killed when his vehicle struck a landmine on the way to a memorial for fallen soldiers
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 targets.
Meir-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, Meir-Israel among them. He was laid to rest at the cemetery at Kfar Monash.
He left behind his father, mother and sister.
Pvt. Avraham Nisim
Died aged 22 in 1974
Killed in the Golan Heights in 1974
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 some of their work burden. "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 in 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 said to 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 parents, 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."
Lt. Shmuel "Shmulik" Farkash
Died aged 29 in 1967
Fell on the first day of fighting in the Six Day War
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 joined 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 became 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.
Lt. Shmuel Farkash was laid to rest in the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl and is survived by his wife and daughter.
Sgt. Shalom Silberman
Died aged 20 in 1973
Killed by Syrian mortar fire in the Golan Heights in the Yom Kippur War.
Shalom was born on August 16, 1953 in Kiryat Ata to Esther and Sinai Silberman. He studied at a religious elementary school and graduated high school in Kiryat Ata. He was a tall boy with golden hair and blue eyes, full of boundless energy - the unquestioned top 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 to choose from. 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 wanted to 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."
Sgt. Shalom Silberman was laid to rest at a cemetery in Haifa and is survived by his parents and sister.
Pvt. Rivkah "Regina" Salzman
Died aged 21 in 1948
Killed while defending her home during the War of Independence
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, and afterwards 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. Rivkah was mortally wounded while defending her home.
Pvt. Rivkah Salzman was laid to rest at the cemetery of Kibbutz Nirim.
Died aged 16 in 2002
Killed by a suicide bomber at the restaurant “Matza” in Haifa
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 girls 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 gravely injured, but remained 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.
Sgt. First Class Gad Isaac "Gadi" Ezra
Died aged 23 in 1979
Killed in Jenin during the Second Intifada while trying to help an injured soldier.
Gad was born on June 24, 1979 as the third child of Sarah and Solomon from 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 movement 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 volunteered 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 IDF’s 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 Sgt. First 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 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 a fellow 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.
Sgt. First 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.
Lt. Eyal Wolf
Died aged 21 in 1982
Killed while helping injured friends
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 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 problems with his eyesight 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."
Lt. Eyal Wolf was laid to rest at the Kiryat Shaul Military Cemetery in Tel Aviv and is survived by his parents and brother.
Sgt. First Class Eyal Tuvia Benin
Died aged 22 in 2006
Killed by enemy fire during the Second Lebanon War
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.
Sgt. First Class Eyal Tuvia Benin was laid to rest at the Kiryat Shaul Military Cemetery in Tel Aviv and is survived by his parents.
Sgt. Eliyahu "Eli" Nurieli
Died aged 24 in 1975
Killed in the line of duty.
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.
Sgt. 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 Sgt. Dvir Emanuelov
Died aged 22 in 2009
Killed by terrorists in the Jabaliya refugee camp
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 the Magen David Adom ambulance service, 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 Sgt. Dvir Emanuelov was laid to rest in the national military cemetery at Mount Herzl. He is survived by his mother, sisters and brothers.
Col. Dror Yitzhak Weinberg
Died aged 38 in 2002
Killed by Palestinian terrorists while defending Jews returning from prayer in Hebron.
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 and 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 stood 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 soldier’s 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 today - 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 valued 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.
Pvt. Dov Gruner Hadad
Died aged 19 in 1969.
Killed with his tank crew by Egyptian fire during the War of Attrition in the Six Day War.
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 athletics and was an avid weight-lifter and pole-jumper. Most of his spare time was spent bird-watching 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.
Pvt. Dov Gruner Hadad was laid to rest in a cemetery in Kiryat Shaul and is survived by his parents.
Pvt. Benjamin “Benny” Bougadry
Died aged 24 in 1967
Killed during the first day of the Six Day War
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 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.
Pvt. Benjamin “Benny” Bougadry was laid to rest in the national military cemetery on Mount Herzl and is survived by his wife and two children.
Died aged 31 in 2006
Killed by a suicide bomber at the restaurant “Rosh Ha’ir” in Tel Aviv
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.
Sgt. Maj. Annan Kadur
Died aged 24 in 1995
Killed by a suicide bomber at HaSharon-Beit Lid Junction. He was treating victims of the first explosion when a second detonation erupted.
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 of 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.
Sgt. Maj. 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.
Sgt. Adi Cohen
Died aged 19 in 2006
Killed by a Hezbollah rocket attack in the Second Lebanon War
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, volunteering 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 Second 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.
Sgt. Adi Cohen was laid to rest at the military cemetery in Hadera and is survived by his parents and three brothers.
Second Lt. Abraham Copperstein
Died aged 21 in 1974
Killed at the Battle of Mt. Hermon during the 1973 Yom Kippur War
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.
Second Lt. Abraham Copperstein was laid to rest at the military cemetery in Haifa and is survived by his parents and two siblings.
Sgt. First Class Yossef Avnery
Died aged 22 in 1973
Killed in the Yom Kippur War when his vehicle was hit by a mortar.
Yossef was born in 1951 to Arye and Haddas in Dorot, a small kibbutz. When he was one year old his family moved to 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 ‘containing’ 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.
Sgt. First Class Yossef Avnery was laid to rest in the cemetery in the Hagoshrim kibbutz, and is survived by his parents and sister.
Sgt. Moshe Kazmirachi
Died aged 20 in 1982
Fell in combat during the First Lebanon War
Moshe was born in 1962 in Istanbul, Turkey. His family moved to Israel two years later and he grew up around the city of Raanana where he was involved in much of the social life of the neighborhood. He finished primary and middle school in Raanana and went on to study in the ORT professional school, finishing high school specializing in fine mechanics. Moshe was a huge sports fan and an excellent basketball player, making it into the Maccabi Raanana team. His volunteering spirit stood out and he was part of the civil guard.
In August 1980, Moshed enlisted in the IDF Paratroopers Brigade. After successfully passing basic training, he received distinguished honors for his efforts during his advanced training. Moshe was then sent to squad commanders school but was called back because of the First Lebanon War. He was called up to fight on the northern front.
On the second day of the war 1982, Moshe was walking alongside his company commander into Lebanon when the enemy opened fire on them. His commander and vice-commander were killed immediately. Moshe fought back but was also killed. He was 20 years old.
Moshe was buried in Raanana’s military cemetery. A school teacher said of Moshe: “Your spirit floats around and is inside of us. All of your nicknames prove how sympathetic you were and how loved you were by your peers. Moshe, we will miss you”.
Moshe’s unit officer wrote to his family, saying “You belong to the glorious family of the Paratroopers who sacrificed many for the security of the people and the country. We hope that thanks to your son and his brothers in arms, we will not know war anymore. The soldiers, his friends and commanders, will continue on the path of goodwill, courage and sacrifice in order to strengthen the security of our people.”
1st Sgt. Idan Ohayon
Died aged 21 in 2006
Fell in the line of duty
The first born of Daliah and Tsion, Idan was born in Hadera and grew up in the kibbutz Ein Hahochech. He finished high school specializing in technology, biology and english. During his free time, he worked on the kibbutz farm. Idan quickly matured into a responsible young adult, acquiring a managerial position in his work.
On the 6th of August 2003, Idan enlisted to the Israel Air Force, as part of the anti-aircraft missile unit. By November, he had finished his training and was appointed to the specific missile batteries. Idan served as a combatant in the Golani Battalion and operated on a number of different fronts, including the northern front and the Judea and Samaria region.
In 2005, Idan completed an Air Force training course and became an instructor, a role he undertook with a sense of responsibility and high precision. Idan sought to contribute more as he volunteered for responsibilities overseeing the operations room during battalion missions. Everything Idan did was carried out with kindness, professionalism and a smile. During the last six months of his service, Idan was studying for the entrance exams to university and completing his high school diploma.
On July 9, 2006, about three weeks before his release, Idan fell in the line of duty. He was 21 years old. Idan was buried on his kibbutz.
Sgt. Nir Bar
Died aged 20 in 1986
Killed in Lebanon while on duty
Nir was known for his friendship and loyalty both as a soldier and a fighter. He was always one of the first in everything and a natural born leader. During his intensive training in operational activities - much of which was in the same kibbutz Nir was born in - Kibbutz Evron. Nir was very shy and introvert as a child. His parents’ divorce affected him deeply but he never shared these feelings with those around him. Nir left high school before graduating in order to work in the kibbutz fish ponds, which he enjoyed. He loved to fish. Nir was also an excellent athlete. He played handball in the national league with his kibbutz team. He trained in Karate and played at a competitive level, winning several national competitions by the age of 15. In February 1982, Nir finished the boat captain course in Caesarea and obtained a license to be the captain of a boat.
Nir began his military service in the IDF in November 1984. After completing basic training, he joined the Paratroopers Brigade where he eventually passed the combat medics course and he squad commanders course.
On June 12, 1986, Nir was on a routine security patrol aboard his APC. Suddenly, his vehicle turned up side down and Nir died as a result of the incident, which took place next to Ras El-Baida. Nir was buried in Kibbutz Maagan Michael. He was 20 years old.
After his death, the paratroopers unit commander said about Nir: “He served the Paratroopers Brigade for more than a year and half. During this time, he stood out as a soldier in Lebanon, he demonstrated not only high skill and true professionalism but also friendship and set himself as an example. After Nir completed the squad commanders course, it was clear to us - the officers - that his place was with the operational company. Many times, Nir insisted on being selected for the parachuting classes and this only demonstrated his character further. He considered his military service as a unique mission and not as a burden.”
1st Sgt. Sivan Bar-Nathan
Died aged 20 in 1998
Died during a car accident
Sivan was born on June 19, 1978 on Kibbutz Ein-Zivan in northern Israel. When he was young, his family moved to Kibbutz Maagan Michael on the coast. In primary school, he had extraordinary curiosity, sociability and a strong presence. He was driven by a sense of justice and morals. Sivan’s will to improve himself and strive for perfection would sometimes turn into conflicts with his classmates.
Interested both in the sciences and the humanities, Sivan already had ambitions of pursuing a degree in computer science at the prestigious Technion University. He was very active outside of school and loved playing basketball and football. Sivan also worked in the fishery of his kibbutz and guided children’s groups at sea as a boat captain. His ability to foster relationships with people of any age was a real gift.
Sivan enlisted in 1996 in the elite unit Sayeret Matkal. After a year of training, he was transferred to the elite unit of the Golani Brigade, Egoz. His organizational skills impressed his officers who often used his help. They knew they could count on him for anything. Being a natural leader, Sivan was selected to take the officer course and proved himself a distinguished soldier during the preparation classes. Before entering the course, Sivan received a week vacation to go home.
Once home, he went with friends to a club on a nearby kibbutz. On the way home, the driver collided with a car coming in front of him. Sivan fought for his life during in the hospital all of the next day but died of his wounds on September 19, 1998. His organs were donated so they could save other lives. Sivan is buried in Maagan Michael’s cemetery.
His unit officer said about Sivan: “His noble character and humble personality led the way before him, enlightening his special path. His big and shining eyes, full of curiosity and love, never stopped shining. He was integrated into our ranks without any difficulties, understanding quickly what the work we do. He led the way with his spirit and positivity. He set an example for us [commanders and officers] to the combatant who is able and ready for any mission. The personality and abilities of Sivan, his brightness, intelligence, humility and smiles, left no choice but to love him.”
Lt. Zahar Halamish
Died aged 21 in 1993
Killed during an operation in Lebanon
Zahar was born on the 13th March 1972 in Kibbutz Maagan Michael in northern Israel. At an early age, Zahar’s parents divorced but he remained on the kibbutz for his studies. As a child, he was very curious and sought to understand everything that he came across. Zahar was talented in science and knew how to express himself in front of his peers. At age 15, Zahar moved to the States with his father where he studied for a year. Missing his mother and his homeland, Zahar returned to Israel to continue his studies and lived with his grandparents in Maagan Michael.
During the First Intifada, Zahar wrote to his father: “What scares me, more than serving in Judea and Samaria, is hearing about Jewish Israelis throwing stones at Arab houses. Where are their ideals? Where are their principles? Regardless, I am planning to complete an army service that is meaningful and important… I made a request to join the pilot’s course or an elite combat unit”. Before joining the army, Zahar was considering studying either medicine or engineering. Yet at the same time, Zahar was a poet, he wrote a lot, painted and took many photographs.
Zahar enlisted to the IDF in February 1991 and started the pilot’s course. After a year, he was transferred to the Artillery corps. Despite his disappointment and not succeeding to become a pilot, Zahar remained motivated and joined the officer’s course. “I asked to be posted in Lebanon because it’s the place where I could make the biggest contribution,” said Zahar to his father after he finished the course.
On the 18th of May 1993, Zahar joined Paratroopers soldiers who went to investigate a Hezbollah post in south-eastern Lebanon. The IDF force were met by terrorists who open fired on them. The soldiers fired back but Zahar was killed during that exchange of fire. He was buried in the Maagan Michael cemetery.
Yitzhak Rabin, who was Defense Minister at the time, wrote the following to his family: “Lt. Zahar Halamish gave his life to his country. He was an ambitious soldier, dedicated to his work and his role. He contributed a lot and always projected happiness and the joy of life to those around him.”
His unit commander said: “I saw Zahar in serious situations and in the most dangerous places the IDF could be. From the first moment, he showed confidence, professional knowledge and a peace of mind.”
Cpt. Gal Lev-Ran
Died aged 22 in 1997
Gal Lev-Ran was born on November 11, 1975 to Verde and Nissan, in Arad. When he was five years old his family moved to Rishon Lezion. Gal wanted to return to Arad when he was older. He was a good child, always surrounded by friends and easily got along with everyone. Gal was a member of his high school’s chess team and also a member of the model aircraft club in Rishon Lezion where he spent much of his free time. Gal also loved to play basketball.
Gal was a very good student and was interested in studying the law from a young age. He decided to develop his interest by going to a high school with specialisation in law. During that time, he discovered a new hobby: photography.
Gal wanted to serve in the paratroopers and prepared himself physically through intensive training before he joined the IDF in March, 1994. Unfortunately, he was injured during advanced training. Gal was then transferred to an intelligence NOC course and assigned to the squad commander academy and the Ground Forces skills academy. Gal went on to officer’s course before going back to the academy where he was honored and recognized as an excellent soldier. Before committing an extra year of service to the IDF, Gal requested to be transferred to an operational role and commanded an observation point on the Israel-Lebanon border.
Gal invested much of his efforts into the soldiers under his command. He used his initiative and often proposed developments and changes in the way the unit worked, making it work more efficiently. On the 29th September 1997, while he was in his observation spot, Hezbollah terrorists fired a rocket at the post and hit it directly. Gal was gravely injured and evacuated by helicopter to Tzfat in northern Israel. The wounds were too serious and Gal died before reaching the hospital. He was buried in the military cemetery of Rishon Lezion.
The retired Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Amnon Shahak wrote to Gal’s family: “Gal served as a commander in the observation unit of the Intelligence Corps and was described by his officers as committed to his work and sparing no effort to fulfill his missions. He showed the highest motivation and learned on the ground, putting the needs of his soldiers constantly at the forefront”.
Sgt. Nimrod Cohen
Died aged 20 in 2006
Fell during the Second Lebanon War
Nimrod was born in Jerusalem in September, 1986. He grew up in Kibbutz Mitspe Shalem, next to to the Dead Sea. He was a fun, shy and quiet child. At school he was a brilliant and talented pupil, always asking questions and contributing. He used to play football and played the guitar whenever he could.
Nimrod didn’t speak a lot, but when he did, his words were wise and full of common sense. He loved to be surrounded by people, and was prepared to do anything for his friends. During his last year in high school, Nimrod had the moving experience of visiting Poland where he visited the Nazi camps. Back in Israel, he decided to volunteer for a year with youth movements. He always believed everyone should give back to their country and community. In 2004, he started to work in a community in Haifa.
On the 9th of August 2005, Nimrod joined the Nahal brigade of the IDF together with his close friends. After completing basic and advanced training, he served in Judea and Samaria for some time before being transferred to the northern front. He was a good soldier, contributing and investing his time and energy, never complaining, overcoming all his difficulties and reaching out to support his friends. He was then sent to an armored vehicle driving course.
On the 12th July 2006, two IDF soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah. An IDF patrol was quickly sent to go after the kidnappers but the tank drove over an explosive device and all the soldiers were killed in the explosion. Nimrod was on duty nearby and volunteered to go into Lebanon, driving his armored vehicle to return the soldiers’ bodies. Even though his vehicle got stuck, he joined the ground forces who were the first ones to cross the border. Fighting began, and continued for hours. Nimrod risked his life, keeping his composure and continued with his mission until he was injured by the shards of a mortar shell and died. He was buried in the military cemetery - Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
His parents wrote: “You were always there for your friends, particularly as you volunteered to be part of the first force to enter Lebanon. In the hardest part of the fights, you brought that ‘Nimrod power,’ that wonderful strength of yours which always expressed itself in the silences rather than by you talking. This is what always set you apart and this is why you were loved by all of us.”
Died aged 20 in 2006
Fell during the Second Lebanon War
Shlomi was born on the June 14th 1986, in Tsrifin, and was the oldest son of four boys. He grew up in the city of Rishon Lezion where he completed high school with excellent grades. He loved sports, spending much of his time training in Karate. When he was 13, he travelled abroad to participate in a Karate competition in Sweden and other countries. He was close to achieving his black belt.
It was clear to Shlomi that he wanted to serve in a combat unit. He volunteered to join the Armoured Corps and served as the gunner of his tank crew. He had aspirations to enter the tank commander course. Shlomi suffered back problems but refused to hear about any change that might keep him away from his friends and his tank. He was happy to serve his country and had a constant smile on his face.
On July 12th 2006, Hezbollah hit an IDF tank on the border and kidnapped two soldiers. Shlomi’s military post was the closest to the incident and was the first called to reach the location of the tank and pursue the terrorists. The post suffered heavy artillery fire. In their pursuit, the Shlomi’s tank drove over an explosive device, which destroyed his tank and killed the entire crew. He was buried in the cemetery of Rishon Lezion.
Shlomi’s family wrote on his grave: “Your smile will be remembered forever. You will always be a hero.”
SFC Naor Calo
Died aged 25 in 2006
Fell in Lebanon while helping wounded soldiers
Naor, the son of two immigrants to Israel, was born on March 10, 1981 in Kibbutz Maagan Michael. His mother immigrated to Israel from South Africa and his father from Italy. The oldest of six children, Naor felt a responsibility to take care of his siblings and he loved helping them in any way he could. Family was very important to Naor. Nothing was ever too difficult for him if he put his mind to it and he demanded a lot from himself.
In March 2000, Naor enlisted in the IDF and trained for Sayeret Yael, the elite unit of the Combat Engineering Corps. Before the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, he began to prepare for studies at university level but he was called into active service with the rest of his unit as they joined the Paratroopers Brigade.
Two days before entering Lebanon, Naor came home for a short break. He was noticeably upset and his mother told him not to enter Lebanon because of a problem with his foot. Naor replied to his mother: “I’m there for my friends and I must be with them.”
On September 8, 2006 a missile hit the building where soldiers were located in the Southern Lebanese village of Dabel. Naor had also trained as a paramedic, and did not hesitate when he ran in to help the wounded soldiers. While he was treating the wounded, Hezbollah militants fired a second rocket which killed him.
Naor died at the aged of 25 and was buried in his Kibbutz’ cemetery. He is survived by his parents, two sisters, and three brothers.
Sgt. Tzachi Itach
Died aged 19
Killed in Lebanon while on duty
In 2000 on February 13th, Tzachi was buried in a cemetery in Yavne. He was killed by a direct missile while serving in the Beaufort military outpost. Tzachi was the last soldier killed in Lebanon.
Tzachi had many talents, but his real love was creating music. He had the opportunity to pursue a musical career during his military service and recruit to the military band, but instead chose to follow in his father’s path and serve in a combat unit.
Tzachi’s father, Col. Arie Itach, was the founder of the Givati Corps of Engineers. This was the same unit Tzachi was serving in at the time he was killed.
PFC Aryeh Bushari
Died at age 19 in 1972
Fell in the line of duty while serving in the Artillery Corps
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 and loved to help others in any way that he could. He maintained good ties with his friends from Yehud after his enlistment in the IDF, even with those who were assigned to different units. At every chance he had, Aryeh would be with friends.
Aryeh was drafted into the IDF in August, 1972, where he volunteered to serve in the Artillery Corps. In the army, Aryeh was a disciplined soldier who did his work faithfully, and was never 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, PFC Aryeh fell in the line of duty. He was buried in the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul.
Yaakov “Jackie” Goren
Died aged 12 in 1948
Killed during the War of Independence while defending Tel Aviv.
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 Mount Herzl in Jerusalem.
Cpl. Sigal Hayt
Died aged 19 in 2006 from cancer.
Sigal Hayt was the daughter of Avital and Michael and sister to Oren and Smadar. She was born in Herzliya on May 26, 1987. She was on the honors track for advanced students in high school. Sigal excelled in all her studies and in each and every year of her schooling, she won awards for academic excellence.
In addition to her studies, Sigal was passionate about dance. During elementary school Sigal was part of a dance group, a hobby that lasted until she drafted.
Sigal also devoted her time to gymnastics, judo and swimming and enjoyed music. She played a variety of musical instruments including the flute, organ, harmonica, guitar, clarinet, saxophone and trumpet. Sigal died before learning that she had won the Outstanding matriculation certificate from the Ministry of Education.
Sigal drafted to the army in early December 2005, and was chosen to be part of the elite track in the officer corps for medicine. Her training included two months of basic training followed by a combat medics course. Her base commander recognized her abilities and said that “given her skills and progress, we expected her to go far in her field.”
During the medics course, Sigal began to feel ill, but tried to overcome it and finish the course. Despite feeling unwell, she continued the course and until it’s completion. Sigal then went on to yet another course for another month or so, but her health deteriorated day by day, as did her ability to function. On April 14, 2006 Sigal was hospitalized in Tel Hashomer. After a series of extensive tests and two surgeries, Sigal was diagnosed with cancer. She never recovered.
Cpl. Sigal Hayt died on July 10, 2006, at the age of 19. She was buried at the military cemetery in her hometown - Herzliya. She is survived by her parents, a brother and sister.