Twenty-five years after IDF soldier killed, friends save lives in his name

Nachshon Wachsman was captured in 1994 and killed six days later, during a botched IDF rescue mission by the Palestinian gunmen who held him in a tragic event that shook the whole country.

A Jerusalem College of Technology student workin on Magen David Adom training device at the annual Great Minds hackathon, May 2019 (photo credit: MICHAEL ERENBURG)
A Jerusalem College of Technology student workin on Magen David Adom training device at the annual Great Minds hackathon, May 2019
(photo credit: MICHAEL ERENBURG)
Nachshon Wachsman was captured in 1994 and killed six days later, during a botched IDF rescue mission, by the Palestinian gunmen who held him hostage, in a tragic event that shook the whole country.
A quarter of a century later, a group of his friends is honoring his memory by saving lives with the Magen David Adom, Israel’s EMS, blood-services and disaster-relief organization. 
Wachsman was 19 years old when he was seized.
Within two days of his disappearance, Hamas released a videotape of him still in his khaki army uniform.
“I am Nachshon Wachsman. Those who kidnapped me want their prisoners released, or they will kill me,” he was forced to say by a terrorist standing behind him. The terror group demanded 200 prisoners in exchange for him. The soldier was killed later when an IDF commando tried to free him. Another IDF soldier, Nir Poraz, was killed in the operation, and nine injured.
According to an MDA statement, several friends of Wachsman have become Life Guardians, i.e., people certified in CPR and other lifesaving skills.
Before losing his life, the soldier also volunteered for Magen David Adom.
“Twenty-five years after the death of Nachshon Wachsman and Nir Poraz, we wanted to honor the sense of mutual responsibility we all have for one another, a value ingrained in the story of Nachshon’s kidnapping and the searches and attempted rescue of him,” said Noach Gutliv, a childhood friend of Wachsman.
“Because of Nachshon’s connection to MDA, it was natural for us to do something in collaboration with the organization. When we heard about the Life Guardian Course, it immediately grabbed our attention because these were exactly the little things that realize our mutual responsibility,” he added.
Under the Life Guardian program, participants receive 20 hours of training in basics, such as how to properly give chest compressions and use a defibrillator for cardiac-arrest patients or how to stanch bleeding for victims of accidents and terrorism, enough to initiate lifesaving measures when they’re alerted by an app developed by Magen David Adom notifying them that a neighbor or someone else very close by is in need of immediate and critical medical attention.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.