Paratrooper sniper becomes hero

Cpl. David Markovitch single-handedly killed 4 Hizbullah terrorists Monday.

hero soldier markowitz  (photo credit: Channel 1)
hero soldier markowitz
(photo credit: Channel 1)
Sarah and Ya'akov Markovitch, the parents of paratrooper Cpl. David Markovitch, 20, who shot and killed four Hizbullah terrorists in Ghajar on Monday, believe it was divine intervention that played a key role in the successful outcome of their son's actio ns that thwarted the attack. With the telephone at their home in Moshav Gimzo constantly ringing, Ya'akov said his son felt uneasy with all the media attention and believes that he would not have succeeded if he had not received the help of his fellow so ldiers. "David was educated to be humble, he did what is expected," he said. Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Markovitch said "David was granted the right to participate in the campaign, we have no reason to praise him. We are proud, but we believe it was the Almighty's intervention that created the miracle, and place our faith in the Almighty." The first contact they had with their son was on Tuesday morning, when he called and spoke with them for a minute, Markovitch said. On Monday night rumors of their son's accomplishment circulated, but they opted to ignore them. Later, they received a call from David's sister, who lives in Mitzpe Ramon, Markovitch said. "Her husband prays at the same yeshiva where David studies, and people came up to him and clapped him on the back and congratulated him, and praised David's actions. Our daughter called and my wife immediately tried to telephone David, but he did not answer," he said. Minutes later a soldier called the family and informed them. David, one of six children, was recruited in March this year and after finishing his basic training was deployed up North, Markovitch said. On Tuesday Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and senior IDF commanders praised the young paratrooper whose rapid response and skilled marksmanship played a decisive role in changing the outcome of the Hizbullah attack. David's battalion commander, Lt.-Col. Yaniv Alalouf, said he tried to reach the paratrooper on the phone to congratulate him on Monday night but the phone constantly went dead. Recalling Monday's attack, Alalouf said the soldiers deployed in Ghajar spotted a group of Hizbullah terrorists dressed in black approaching the IDF checkpoint. Behind them there were motorcycles and terrain vehicles they apparently intended to use to abduct soldiers he said. Aside from other weapons, the gunmen carried a rocket propelled grenade. Markovitch, the unit's marksman, shot in a precise and accurate manner, causing the RPG to explode and k illing three gunmen instantly. He then shot and killed the fourth shortly after, Alalouf said. The body of the fourth man killed was dragged back to Lebanese territory by other Hizbullah members while the other three are being held by the IDF. Markovitch, who was drafted eight months ago, was described by an Israel Radio interviewer as "not especially large or threatening, even with a helmet on his head." Despite his actions, Markovitch insisted that the successful outcome was because all the soldiers worked as a team. "We were four soldiers working together, everyone did his job. We wanted to duck and hide, but our commander, Natan, gave the orders. We're a team," he said. Despite being trained combat soldiers, Markovitch admitted they were afraid. "It happened that [they] were in the middle of things, but really, it was a miracle. Them not seeing us - it was a miracle," he continued. "We did not know what was going to happen, we panicked but we did our job. "The terrorist- I saw him, and then... bo om. It was a matter of seconds, the entire thing." Unsure when their son would be home on leave, his parents noted that he is soon due to celebrate his 21st birthday. "We don't know when he will be home, he is a young soldier, it is not up to him to cho ose his leave," Markovitch said. staff contributed to this reportp