Friends recall Hila Bezaleli’s dedication

The 20-year-old soldier from the Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion was killed in Mount Herzl accident.

Hila Bezaleli 370 (photo credit: Courtesy Bezaleli family)
Hila Bezaleli 370
(photo credit: Courtesy Bezaleli family)
A passionate leader with a perfect smile who was filled with love for her friends and family: That’s how Hila Bezaleli’s friends and family want the country to remember her.
The 20-year-old soldier from the Jerusalem suburb of Mevaseret Zion was killed on Wednesday afternoon when a light rigging system collapsed onto soldiers rehearsing for the Independence Day celebration at Mount Herzl.
Bezaleli was killed at the scene and four others were injured, one critically. She was buried on Mount Herzl late on Wednesday night, the very place where she was to perform next week.
She dreamed of being a doctor, and was chosen as one of the most outstanding medics in the army to participate in the Independence Day ceremonies at Mount Herzl.
Mount Herzl holds a special place in the family’s heart, friends said, as Bezaleli’s mother, Sigalit, has worked as an administrator at the site for 16 years.
“This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, similar things happened before and only by a miracle there wasn’t a tragedy,” Sigalit Bezaleli told the media on Thursday.
“These people just care about the money that they make, they don’t care about doing professional work. For no reason they endangered soldiers, for no reason they took my daughter.”
A police investigation is focusing on gross negligence by the company responsible for building the light rigging system, which may not have had the proper permits.
Sigalit Bezaleli was at Mount Herzl when the lighting fixture collapsed, and watched the paramedics try in vain to save her daughter’s life. She fainted when they pronounced her dead.
Bar Sitton, Hila Bezaleli’s friend from high school, recalled the bitter irony of the situation, since Bezaleli herself was a volunteer with Magen David Adom for years.
“She saved dozens of lives, but they couldn’t save her life,” Sitton told The Jerusalem Post.
Bezaleli’s friends and family want the ceremony next week to be dedicated to her memory, but they do not want it to be canceled.
“We’re an independent country, and it’s important for there to be a ceremony, we want there to be a ceremony,” Sitton said. “But we won’t rest and we won’t stop until the murderers of Hila Bezaleli [are brought] to justice.”
In her high school yearbook from Boyer High School in Jerusalem’s Bayit Vagan neighborhood, students commended Bezaleli’s altruistic spirit.
“If there was a Boyer Oscar ceremony, Hila would definitely win the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award,” her yearbook entry read.
“MDA and representative to the local council are just part of the long list of her activities, which is why you probably haven’t seen her at school lately.”
The second of four children and the only daughter, Bezaleli also played guitar. She was chosen for the prestigious LEAD leadership development program in 10th grade. She was elegant and poised, and a passionate Zionist, Sitton remembered.
“And she was incredibly funny,” he added. “That’s something I will never forget.”