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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘soldier’

ZAKA Rescued Body of Abandoned Jewish Soldier Who Died for Ukraine

Friday, March 6th, 2015

It took five weeks, a break in the battle and special permission from the Ukrainian army, but poor Yevgeni Yatsina was finally rescued by his Jewish brethren.

At least his body was, thanks to a faithful friend who just wouldn’t give up, and ZAKA, the organization that is there when nothing else can be done.

Yatsina was a Jewish solider killed five weeks earlier, in the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukraine government. His friend hadn’t heard from him and started to wonder why.

A week ago on Wednesday, volunteers from the ZAKA emergency first response organization (some of whom came from Israel) rushed to the area to begin a search when permission was received to enter the military zone.

Until that point, Yatsina’s body remained on the battlefield. Rescue and recovery personnel had been forbidden to retrieve his remains.

Last Friday – at last – Yatsina was taken from the battle zone, ZAKA chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav told media.

For quite a while, no one even knew the soldier was dead. His friend was really the first to figure it out; it was he who asked ZAKA Sharon regional commander Israel Godlevski to try and track him down.

“There is a ZAKA unit in Ukraine,” said Meshi-Zahav. “We tried to turn to the Ukrainian army and get initial information about [his] fate…

“At first they didn’t even admit that he is dead. Then they said he was killed in battle and that his body was left lying there.”

For two weeks ZAKA sought permission to remove the soldier’s body but were denied permission on the grounds he was in a battle zone. They were told “no one can even approach the area” at that point.

Jewish law does not permit any Jew to endanger his life or that of another for the sake of burying the dead. But eventually the Ukraine army finally allowed ZAKA to enter the area under its protection, and when there was some calm in the area.

“The entire operation took place at night in complete darkness, with constant exchanges of fire between the sides in the background,” Meshi-Zahav said. “We tried to locate the body in the darkness according to information we received from the army. After searching for about an hour and a half, it was found.

“At first we weren’t certain that it was him, as it was impossible to carry out basic identification on the ground. Only after moving several hundred meters away from the area, we were able to confirm that this was the Jewish soldier we were looking for,” he added.

ZAKA commander in Ukraine Rabbi Yosef Asman, is the son of Ukraine Chief Rabbi Moshe Asman and is in constant communication with the military. Although he personally was ready to give up more than once, Asman said Meshi-Zahav’s persistence won out, ensuring “the respectable and emotional ending when we gave late soldier Yevgeni Yatsina a Jewish burial.”

Last Friday, Yatsina was laid to rest in a Jewish cemetery in Kiev. May his soul find the peace he sought in life, and his memory be for a blessing.

UNIFIL Confirms ‘Rocket Fired From Lebanon First, Israel Retaliated’

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The Spanish Ministry of Defense has confirmed that rockets were fired first from Lebanon, provoking Israel into a defensive attack.

“At the moment we are still looking into the causes of the event,” Andrea Tenenti, UNIFIL spokesman in Lebanon, told The Spain Report by telephone. “What I can say is that today there were rockets launched from Lebanon into Israel, and the Israeli forces began retaliatory fire. Major General Portolano (UNIFIL commander) was immediately in contact with both parties to prevent further escalation.”

Spanish Army Corporal Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, 36, was killed during the clash while on patrol for UNIFIL. The corporal, who was born in Andalusia, was married and assigned to a mechanized infantry regiment after enlisting in 2004. His unit has participated in UNIFIL in southern Lebanon since November 2014. The soldier’s position when he was killed was not released.

“We are not certain who fired the shots that killed him; that needs to be investigated,” said a spokesperson for the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

“We have troops positioned all along the Blue Line,” Tenenti added. “We are verifying the circumstances of this tragic incident.”

Spanish military sources reportedly told El Pais that it was an IDF mortar round that killed the UNIFIL soldier.

Female IDF Veteran Goes to Help Kurdish Fighters

Monday, November 10th, 2014

A female veteran of the Israel Defense Forces who immigrated to Israel from Canada is on her way to join Kurdish fighters training in an Iraqi camp on the border with Syria.

The 31-year-old woman did not identify herself in her conversation with Israel Radio, other than to say she contacted Kurdish fighters via the Internet and decided to help.

“They are our brothers. They are good people,” she told the interviewer. “They love life, a lot like us, really.”

Many Kurdish fighters – especially in the northern Syrian city of Kobani – are women. This IDF veteran told Israel Radio she felt she could contribute to the Kurdish effort. But she did not provide any details other than to say she planned to travel to the combat zones in northern Syria.

Israel bans its citizens from traveling to enemy nations, including Syria and Iraq. However, Israel has maintained quiet ties with the Kurds since the 1960s; the unique ethnic population stands apart as a group of its own in four countries – Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey.

If and when the traveling military “consultant” returns to Israel from helping the Kurds, it is not yet clear what will happen to her.

IDF Soldier is Missing, Police Seek Assistance

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

IDF soldier David Menachem Gordon, 21, has been reported missing by Israel Police. Gordon is a lone soldier with the Givati Brigades whose family is in the United States. The public is being asked to help find him.

The soldier, who recently served in Gaza, was last seen Sunday at around 12 noon at the Tzrifin Army Base in the medical corps section.

He is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, with brown eyes and black, short cropped hair, and speaks Hebrew with an American accent.

He was wearing an IDF uniform with a purple beret, and was carrying a Micro Tavor assault rifle and a large, black and blue backpack.

Anyone with information about Gordon’s whereabouts is asked to please contact the Israel Police emergency hotline by dialing “100”, or to call 08-927-9244.

IDF Soldier Wounded by Shrapnel

Monday, July 14th, 2014

An IDF soldier sustained shrapnel wounds early Monday afternoon during an attack by Gaza terrorists as they shelled Eshkol Regional Council.

The soldier is listed in light condition, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Police Arrest Pregnant Yitzhar Woman for Inciting Against IDF Soldiers

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

In the hours before dawn on Wednesday, Israel Police awakened and arrested an eight-month pregnant woman in Yitzhar on suspicion of incitement to violence against security forces.

The woman, age 22, had allegedly advocated throwing rocks at Jews “even if the rock causes the death of a soldier” during discussions in an online Yitzhar residents’ email forum called “Yitzharniks.”

A second, 17-year-old resident also commented there is “no halachic problem in killing a soldier during a nighttime eviction” since according to halacha (Jewish law) one may kill anyone breaking and entering, thus posing a possible threat to life.

The conversation containing the incriminating comments was apparently forwarded to police and IDF Central Command by one of the participants, according to a report published by the Hebrew daily Yediot Acharanot.

The newspaper also interviewed the young woman’s mother, who commented, “The young generation is tired of walking around crouched and afraid. My daughter told me in conversation that just like Arab women walk around freely in Israel, there’s no reason that a Jewish women shouldn’t be able to as well… My daughter isn’t stupid. She’ll take responsibility for what she wrote even if she’s wrong.”

The opinion is not unanimous, however, despite a violent incident last month in which residents expressed anger at the demolition of buildings near the outskirts of the Jewish community, located in Samaria (Shomron).

“We have denounced this kind of talk in the past and will do so in future as well,” Yitzhar community spokesperson Ezri Tuvi told media in a statement. “This involves a minor and a woman whose emotions caused their tongues to slip and who already retracted their words.

“On the other hand, we demand the media fully denounce all talk of violence and incitement to hatred and physical harm against the settler public.”

Leftist Yesh Atid chairman and Finance Minister Yair Lapid responded that “Words easily turn into deeds. Some of Yitzhar’s residents have already proven that they have no limits or red lines. A threat to harm IDF soldiers is an action against the state’s sovereignty and against a hallowed basic value of the State of Israel.”

IDF Creates 2 Haredi Battalions Ahead of New Draft Law

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

The IDF has been taking steps to accommodate the anticipated growth in incoming Haredi recruits following the future draft law, currently in committee. The committee, chaired by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked, is in broad agreement on the principle of “equal burden,” requiring Haredi young men and women to contribute to the state in which they live. There is, however, serious dispute between the two coalition factions most invested in the new legislation over the issue of enforcement.

Jewish Home favors economic sanctions against Haredim who fail to enlist, while Yesh Atid mistrusts the effectiveness of such measures, insisting instead on criminal charges.

Another Yesh Atid argument is that economic sanctions directed only at one part of the population would constitute a violation of their civil rights and could be shot down by the High Court.

Even if the current legislation passes all its hurdles, it is believed that the Haredi draft will not begin in earnest before 2017, when the first full batch of Haredi recruits will be required legally to enlist.

Nevertheless, the IDF is not waiting for 2017, and has already moved to accommodate the new arrivals. According to Haaretz, the army is planning to add a second Haredi infantry battalion in 2014, and a third battalion, designated to serve in the Home Front Command, in 2015.

Some 2,000 Haredim enlisted in 2013, and the army is expecting to enlist 2,300 in 2014 and 2,600 the following year. These figures match the original ones as proposed by the Perry Committee at an earlier legislative phase. They may be adjusted later, according to the ratified version of the law.

In addition to assignments within the infantry and in civilian rescue function, the IDF is also preparing for a wave of older Haredi recruits, mostly married men ages 22-23. They are expected to be integrated into technological and logistical units.

Generally, the IDF prefers its recruits younger, before they get married and have their first few children. Older Haredi recruits will be earning the equivalent salary of entry level professional servicemen, close to $18,000 a year.

The IDF is planning to create a separate recruitment center for Haredim, without female soldiers, as well as a Haredi boot camp, also without women.

That part could also meet legal challenges by various interested parties.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-creates-2-haredi-battalions-ahead-of-new-draft-law/2014/01/02/

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