Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Staff Sgt. Ben-Zion Henman Killed in Shechem


My heart goes out to his family, his friends, his unit.

May his name never be forgotten.

by Gil Ronen

(IsraelNN.com) The small moshav (agricultural community) of Nov in the Golan Heights mourns the loss of a son today: Staff Sgt. Ben-Zion Chaim Henman, 22, son of Yaakov and Tamar Henman, was killed during a firefight Monday night between IDF forces and terrorists in the biblical city of Shechem, now under Palestinian Authority administration. Ben-Zion had nine brothers and sisters.

His funeral will take place Tuesday at 11:30 PM in Hispin, near Nov.

Ben-Zion was to end his military service two weeks from now. "He planned to travel in the world immediately after his release from the IDF, and then study agriculture and winemaking and join the family business," his older brother Ro'i told journalists. Ro'i described his brother as a young man with piercing blue eyes, who did not speak much.

He was born in Sussia, near Hevron, and his family later moved to Nov, a small religious community with 115 families, including that of Knesset Member Effie Eitam. "He was a quiet, introverted, pleasant mannered boy and well liked by all," Nov's secretary Yaakov Nusboim said. "Unfortunately this is a heavy blow to the family and to the entire moshav," he added.

Henman served in the Paratroopers Reconnaissance Company (PALSAR Tzanchanim). He was k
"He was a quiet, introverted, pleasant mannered boy and well liked by all."
illed when a joint force composed of PALSAR Tzanchanim and the Haruv Brigade entered the Ein Beit Ilma neighborhood of Shechem, which was under curfew. Lately, IDF soldiers have been operating in Shechem on a nightly basis, in order to locate and arrest or kill terrorists, expose explosives laboratories and carry out additional counter-terror activities.

Monday night, Arab terrorists threw several explosive charges at the soldiers and a firefight broke out. Staff Sgt. Henman was gravely wounded and another soldier was lightly injured. A helicopter was called in order to evacuate Henman to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead before the helicopter arrived. The lightly wounded soldier received first aid before being taken to Rabin Medical Center in Petach Tikva.

Ben-Zion studied in the Yeshiva for Youths in Jerusalem, and after finishing high school he studied in the High Yeshiva at Mitzpe Ramon for a short time.

One terrorist was killed in tonight's operation. In addition, two wanted men were arrested and taken to interrogation: one from Hamas, the other from the PFLP. An arms cache with two M-16 guns, a few improvised hand grenades and additional ammunition was discovered.

The increasingly central role played by religious soldiers in the IDF's combat units has been the subject of much discussion in Israel lately, after the heroic stories of Maj. Ro'i Klein, Lt. Col. Emanuel Moreno and others in the Second Lebanon War brought home to Israelis that the "knit kippah" boys are replacing the kibbutz and moshav boys of previous generations as the backbone of the fighting units.

"Their presence in the army is several times larger than it is in the general population," journalist Ben Caspit wrote recently. "It is clear," he wrote, that "the religious Zionist movement's educational institutions continue to disseminate values, Zionism, Judaism and mission orientation." Of the religious soldiers he wrote: "They do everything willingly, with their entire soul."

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