14 Days: Soldiers killed

Israeli news highlights from the past two weeks.

 The three IDF soldiers who were killed in a terrorist attack on the Egyptian border. (photo credit: IDF)
The three IDF soldiers who were killed in a terrorist attack on the Egyptian border.
(photo credit: IDF)


Three Israeli soldiers – St.-Sgt. Ohad Dahan, 20; Sgt. Lia Ben Nun, 19; and St.-Sgt. Ori Yitzhak Iluz, 20 – were shot dead by an Egyptian policeman who infiltrated across the Egyptian-Israeli border on June 3. All three served as combat soldiers in the co-ed Bardelas Battalion in IDF Southern Command and were posthumously promoted in rank. The Egyptian assailant was killed by the IDF, which said it was investigating how and when he infiltrated into Israel and why he had not been not detected for several hours. The Egyptian army, which was cooperating fully with Israel’s investigation, expressed its sincere condolences over the incident, which came after the IDF thwarted a drug smuggling operation in the same area. 


Meir Tamari was fatally wounded in a shooting attack from a passing vehicle near Hermesh in northern Samaria on May 30. He managed to continue driving until he reached Hermesh, where he was given first aid and flown by helicopter to Hillel Yaffe Hospital in Hadera, where he died. The IDF said troops launched a search for the gunmen, who according to Palestinian media, belonged to Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which claimed responsibility for the attack. Tamari, an electrician, is survived by his wife, Tali, and two children, aged one and three. “Instead of congratulating you, we are here eulogizing you,” Tali said at his funeral in Shaked, held a day after his death, on what would have been his 32nd birthday.


New York-born Chana Nachenberg (nee Finer) died on May 31, almost 22 years after a Palestinian suicide bomber attacked the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem, putting her in a vegetative state. Nachenberg was 31 years old at the time of the bombing, which killed 15 people, including seven children and a pregnant woman. Her two-year-old daughter Sarah was one of the few to survive the attack unscathed. Ahlam Tamimi, an accomplice of the suicide bomber who was released in Israel’s prisoner exchange with Hamas for captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit, is living in Jordan and is one of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists.


The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that a former Mossad agent and his wife were among four people who died when a boat capsized in Italy’s Lake Maggiore in late May but that “due to his service in the organization, it is impossible to elaborate” on his activities. Italy’s security service said the two others – a 62-year-old man and a 53-year-old woman – were its employees. According to a report in La Repubblica, the two espionage organizations were working together to prevent Tehran from obtaining advanced weapons. The boat’s captain, Carlo Carminati, was arrested for negligent homicide, as the vessel had 23 passengers when it was allowed to carry only 15.


The Israeli team made history by winning the bronze medal at the Under-20 World Cup in Argentina. On the way, it defeated Japan 2-1, Brazil 3-2 and finally South Korea 3-1 on June 11. Uruguay, which knocked out Israel in a semi-final, beat Italy 1-0 in the final to win gold. President Isaac Herzog called to congratulate Israeli coach Ofir Haim, posting on Twitter: “You have completed a wonderful and exciting journey in the U20 World Cup, and we are all proud of you.!” 

 The late Lithuanian haredi leader Rabbi Gershon Edelstein. (credit: HAIM LEVY/WIKIPEDIA)
The late Lithuanian haredi leader Rabbi Gershon Edelstein. (credit: HAIM LEVY/WIKIPEDIA)


Hundreds of thousands attended the funeral in Bnei Brak of Rabbi Gershon Edelstein, the spiritual leader of the Degel HaTorah Knesset faction, who died on May 30 at the age of 100, a week after being hospitalized at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center. The funeral procession left from the Ponevezh Yeshiva, which he headed since 2000, and ended at a cemetery in Bnei Brak, where he lived and raised his seven children with his late wife, Henia. Edelstein, who was born in Russia to a rabbinical family, was the preeminent spiritual leader of the Lithuanian stream within haredi Ashkenazi Jewry and was revered for his humane pedagogical approach, his moderate views on haredi-secular relations, and his humility.