Israel locates missing remains of War of Independence fighter

Dov Broder's remains, missing since he fell during the May 13, 1948 Operation Medina, were recovered by Israeli authorities on Sunday.

 Dov Broder and his wife Batya, circa 1947 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)
Dov Broder and his wife Batya, circa 1947

Seventy-five years after War of Independence fighter private Dov Broder died in an operation, his burial place has been identified, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit announced on Sunday morning.

Broder fell during the May 13, 1948 Operation Medina, the Alexandroni Brigade's push to seize Kafr Saba. Serving as an armored vehicle driver, Broder was sent with the 33rd Battalion to provide cover for another force, but his unit was attacked. Broder was killed, his vehicle damage, and his body was never identified until now.

Broder's family and his 95 year old widow Batya were contacted by Personnel Directorate head Major General Yaniv Asor on Saturday night to update that investigations had found the Independence warrior's body.

Broder was buried in Petah Tikvah as an unknown soldier in the Segula cemetery. He had been buried there after his evacuation to the Beilinson Hospital.

How were the fallen soldier's remains recovered?

In 2006 the Missing Persons Unit began an investigation into Broder's burial place. Over almost two decades the unit interviewed eyewitnesses from the battle, reviewed documents, the hospital's records and performed anthropological tests.

"Seventy-five years after the death of the late Dov Broder in the War of Independence, we located his burial place," said Asor. "This is the closing of a circle and the IDF and the State of Israel's ethical and moral debt to Broder, who gave his life for the establishment of Israel, and to his widow and family members who lost their most beloved one."


Batya said that she had been in regular contact with her husband, but then he suddenly disappeared. She thanked the IDF for their work.

"You don't know anything, and you don't have anyone to contact even to receive an answer," said Batya. "With all this, I had faith that the army was attending to it."

Who is Dov Broder, who died while fighting for Israel's independence?

Asor described Broder as a young man who fell in battle, leaving behind a young wife, and was one of the people who built the country. It was both a happy and sad occasion, he said sitting in the family's salon.

Unknown no longer, a ceremony will be held to replace Broder's headstone, replacing the inscription with his name.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on social media that the locating of Broder’s body  was “proof of our ethical commitment to those who fell for the establishment of the state and whose burial place is unknown.”

 "The IDF, the Personnel Directorate and Missing Persons Unit will continue to do whatever is necessary to determine the status of the victims whose burial place is unknown," said Asor.