Leitner received the highest Israeli military decoration for a heroic ambush against enemy forces during the Israeli War of Independence

Date: 26/03/2012, 2:05 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

Ben-Zion Leitner who received the highest Israeli military decoration, the Medal of Valor, on the first Israeli Independence Day, passed away on Sunday (March 25) at the age of 85. His funeral will be held today (March 26).

Fighting heroically at the battle on the Iraq Suedan Fortress Police on October 19, 1948, our forces approached the police building and despite deadly enemy fire were successful in dismantling several of the building’s fences.

The Squad Leitner commanded over was assigned the difficult task of target the bunker using grenades, while under continuous fire from the bunker. Without being ordered to do so, Leitner ambushed the bunker, completely dismantling it. He was severely injured in the act.

As a result of his injuries, Leitner was in-and-out of hospitals for many years, and despite his financial strain refused to receive funding from the German government which he was eligible for as a Holocaust survivor. He left behind three daughters.

The decoration was awarded to Leitner on April 1973 by the Defense Minister at the time, Moshe Dayan. The Medal of Valor is the highest military decoration given in the IDF (Zahal) as recommended by the Chief of the General Staff, for “An exceedingly heroic action taken while in combat in the face of enemies, risking one’s life.”