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Israeli Soldier Killed in Jenin Counterterror Operation

May 16, 2022

by: Ilse Strauss

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Jenin, where Israeli soldier Noam Raz was killed in a counterterror operation last week

Monday, 16 May 2022 | The bloody eight-week terror wave in which 19 people have been murdered claimed another casualty over the weekend.

This time the victim didn’t fall prey to a terrorist with a knife or an axe on an Israeli street. Sgt.-Maj. Noam Raz, 47, a member of Israel’s elite Yamam counterterrorism unit, died on Friday when a counterterror operation aimed at capturing prospective terrorists before they can strike ended in a shootout between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Raz was shot during a raid on a terror suspect’s home in the Palestinian area of Jenin in northern Samaria. He was taken to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where, despite the doctors’ best efforts, they were forced to declare him dead.

Raz, a Yamam veteran who served on the force for 23 years, leaves behind a wife and six children.

“We lost a hero today—a brave fighter who gave his life for the security of Israel during a complex and delicate initiated counterterrorist operation,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

“During his 23 years in the unit, Noam had participated in countless counterterrorist operations, risked his own life and saved lives—as his commanders attest—with courage and modesty. We will continue to fight terrorism with determination and an iron fist until we defeat it and restore security to the citizens of Israel. This is the legacy that Noam leaves behind. May his memory be blessed.”

Raz was laid to rest yesterday in the police section of the Mount Herzl National Cemetery in Jerusalem. A crowd of a few hundred, including Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai and Border Police Commander Amir Cohen, came to bid their final farewell.

“I’m grateful for getting the chance to know you, and thank you for choosing me to be your wife,” his wife, Efrat, eulogized him. “Thank you for teaching us how to be modest, be grateful for what we have, and thank you for the life, love, and joy you brought to our home. All your values were expressed through actions, your connection to the land. Our heart is torn from longing and love.”

As the family made their way from the funeral to their home in the Jewish community of Kida in Samaria, hundreds of people lined the road in an honor guard that stretched for miles, holding Israeli flags and signs thanking Raz for his service and sacrifice.

The terror wave over the past two months has been Israel’s deadliest in over a decade. The Jenin area has emerged as a hotbed of simmering tensions and provocation, with some of the perpetrators of the most deadly terror attacks hailing from there.

As the wave gained momentum, Israel has implemented a preemptive approach that aims to apprehend attackers before they can act. As part of the tactic, the IDF stepped up operations in Judea and Samaria, reinforcing its forces with thousands of troops. Much of the efforts have been focused on the Jenin area, where they arrested a number of suspects and prevented further attacks emanating from the fundamentalist stronghold.

Raz formed part of one of these counterterror operations to arrest a number of terror suspects in Jenin when he was killed. According to the IDF, Raz’s team came under heavy fire during a raid on one of the suspect’s homes.

Israel’s Channel 12 News reports that 11 Palestinians were wounded in the gunfight.

Posted on May 16, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 16, 2022)

Photo Credit: أمين/commons.wikimedia.org

Photo License: wikimedia.org

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