Israel considering revealing face of fallen elite soldier Emmanuel Moreno

Emmanuel Moreno was a French-born IDF elite officer who was killed in combat during the Second Lebanon War.

Israeli soldiers hold an Israeli flag as they leave Lebanese territory during a second day of ceasefire during the Second Lebanon War, near the town of Menara August 15, 2006. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Israeli soldiers hold an Israeli flag as they leave Lebanese territory during a second day of ceasefire during the Second Lebanon War, near the town of Menara August 15, 2006.
(photo credit: REUTERS)

The IDF is considering whether to reveal the face of General Staff Reconnaissance Unit officer Lt.-Col. Emmanuel Moreno, who was killed in combat during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

The IDF has revealed the identity of an officer from an elite unit who was killed in a firefight in Gaza in 2018.

According to OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva, Military Intelligence and the Military Censor are now deliberating whether to reveal Moreno’s identity.

“As the head of Military Intelligence, I hold working meetings with the censor where we hold discussions about issues,” Haliva said Saturday night. Revealing the identity of Moreno “is a question that is on the table. This is our next discussion.”

Moreno was born in France in 1971 and moved to Israel with his family when he was one year old. He grew up in the Sanhedria neighborhood of Jerusalem. He enlisted in the IDF in 1990 and joined the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit. He later worked for the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). He and his wife, Maya, had three children.

 A SCENE resulting from the intense Hezbollah rocket fire from Lebanon that hit northern Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Within a few hours of an Israeli strike, Iran ordered Hezbollah to activate its arsenal. (credit: FLASH90) A SCENE resulting from the intense Hezbollah rocket fire from Lebanon that hit northern Israel during the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Within a few hours of an Israeli strike, Iran ordered Hezbollah to activate its arsenal. (credit: FLASH90)

Moreno was killed in the Baalbek region of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley at the end of the Second Lebanon War. Thousands of people attended his funeral at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery in Jerusalem.

One of the operations Moreno took part in was Operation Poisonous Sting, during which Mustafa Dirani was taken from his home in Lebanon in May 1994. Dirani, a commander of the Shi’ite Amal Movement in Lebanon, was the last man known to have held missing IAF navigator Ron Arad. He was released in 2004 in a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah for kidnapped Israeli businessman Elhanan Tenenbaum.

The IDF released a recording of Moreno’s voice in 2018, but he is the only fallen soldier whose image is forbidden for publication 16 years after his death.

Rabbi Shmuel Moreno, Moreno’s brother, told Ynet in 2018: “We never thought to publicize his voice. We turned to the military censor and asked if this would be possible, and they did not object. It is important for us that the beliefs my brother held be heard.”

Yamina MK Matan Kahana, who served alongside Moreno and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit, spoke to Moreno two days before he was killed.

In an interview ahead of Remembrance Day earlier this month, Kahana said Moreno had told him: “We are nothing compared to the Infantry [Corps], Armored Corps and Combat Engineering [Corps] soldiers who fight face-to-face. They are the real soldiers who do the job... We are doing what is necessary, but our heroic brothers are the Ground Forces.”