THESE EIGHT MEN were killed on July 16, 2006, when a Hezbollah rocket struck the Haifa train depot. From top left: Rafi Hazan, Asael Damti, Shmuel Ben-Shimon and Nissim Elharrar, and from bottom left: David Feldman, Shlomi Mansoura, Dennis Lapidus and Reuven Levi..
(photo credit: ISRAEL RAILWAYS)
The families of eight Israel Railways workers killed in a Katyusha rocket attack during the Second Lebanon War are the first civilians to receive a medal of appreciation from the Defense Ministry. A law instituting the award passed in May.
Zionist Union MK Eyal Ben-Reuven proposed the law and on Tuesday announced the first recipients, who were chosen by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
The eight train workers – Nissim Elharrar, Shmuel Ben-Shimon, Asael Damti, Rafi Hazan, Shlomi Mansoura, David Feldman, Dennis Lapidus and Reuven Levi – were killed on July 16, 2006, when a rocket hit a train depot.
Ben-Reuven praised Liberman for “using the new important law I initiated to give recognition to civilians who did their job and fell in battle in the Second Lebanon War.
“Workers at Israel Railways who went to work during the war deserve this appreciation. I have no doubt that this recognition will call to civilians to volunteer during times of emergency, in which the state needs their support in the market and the fighting forces,” Ben-Reuven said.
Israel Railways director-general Shachar Ayalon told the families they were being honored at a memorial ceremony in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Yam on Sunday.
“You are heroes,” Ayalon said.
“Your sons who fell are the kinds of people who came to work for the train even when their families were at home, in the middle of the Second Lebanon War, and under fire. That is real sacrifice.”