Shimon Cahaner, legendary IDF soldier, dies age 85

During the Six Day War, “Katcha,” as he is best known, became famous for his heroic role in the five-hour battle for Ammunition Hill on June 6, 1967.

Shimon Cahaner (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/CHEN MELLING)
Shimon Cahaner
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/CHEN MELLING)
Shimon (Katcha) Cahaner, one of the most famous soldiers of IDF Commando Unit 101, passed away overnight early Tuesday. He was 85.
Cahaner was part of Unit 101, which was established in August 1953 by Ariel Sharon. He was recruited by another legendary fighter of the unit, Meir Har-Zion, and participated in a series of operations. He later moved to the 890th Battalion and was shot in the stomach during a humanitarian operation.
Shimon "Katcha" Cahaner on the Temple Mount (Photo Credit: Nadav Man, Bitmuna Photo Archives)Shimon "Katcha" Cahaner on the Temple Mount (Photo Credit: Nadav Man, Bitmuna Photo Archives)
During the Six Day War, “Katcha,” as he was known, became famous for his heroic role in the five-hour battle for Ammunition Hill on June 6, 1967, in which 37 Israelis and 70 Jordanians were killed.
He served as the deputy battalion commander in Ariel Sharon’s elite 55th Brigade, which captured the strategic position from Jordan’s Arab Legion after fierce fighting on Sultan Suleiman Street. After his commander was wounded, he led his troops triumphantly through Lions Gate into Jerusalem’s Old City.
Defense Minister Naftali Bennett wrote on Twitter: “Katcha was one of the greatest fighters of the IDF. As a fighter and commander in Unit 101 and in the paratroopers, Katcha was instrumental in shaping the core values of the IDF: leading his troops, mission compliance and non-abandonment of fighters in the field. Katcha participated in the liberation of Jerusalem in the Six Day War and the success of the (Suez) Canal on Yom Kippur. Katcha’s legacy will pave the way for IDF fighters. Of blessed memory.”

Former defense minister and chief of staff MK Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon wrote on his Twitter account that he was “saddened by Katcha’s (z”l) departure. Israel has lost an exemplary man, a fierce paratrooper, one of the founders of Unit 101, who fought shoulder to shoulder with Meir Har-Zion (z”l). Katcha for me will forever be remembered as the hero of Israel, a man of earth and pioneer, who took responsibility for the protection of the people and the land all his life. Of blessed memory.”
His funeral will be held at Kibbutz Neveh Eitan, where he lived. Cahaner is survived by his wife, four children and seven grandchildren.