The soldiers recieved the citations for demonstrating extraordinary courage while in combat during Operation Cast Lead

Date: 03/09/2009, 5:40 PM    

Cpt. Moti Iplah, a paramedic of the Gale Battalion who saved the live of 2nd Lt. Aharon Kruv during Operation Cast Lead, will receive the Honor Citation of the Commander of the Storm Formation – thus decided the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, recently as part of the confirmation of seven citations for commanders and soldiers who demonstrated extraordinary courage during combat in the Gaza Strip.

The Chief of the General Staff confirmed the citations after hearing the recommendations of a special committee under the leadership of Brig. Gen. Kobi Barak, which examined a number of candidates for citations who were suggested by their commanders. The soldiers will receive the citations throughout the next few weeks.

The miraculous recovery of 2nd Lt. Aharon Kruv’s would not have occurred at all were it not for Cpt. (then Lt.) Moti Iplah’s ingenuity. On Wednesday, 14th of January, during an operation of Paratrooper Brigade forces in the Al-Shati refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, the forces entered a building. An explosive went off near the forces which lead to the wounding of several soldiers, among them 2nd Lt. Aharon Kruv, who was fatally wounded. Lt. Iplah arrived at the place of the incident, found the wounded soldier with grave injuries on his limbs and his face, and operated insistently and professionally to his rescuing, taking measures to open the wounded soldier’s air line under difficult conditions. Lt. Iplah’s decision to carry out this operation and the methods used under difficult conditions, lead to the rescue of 2nd Lt. Kruv. Lt. Iplah. Kruv transported the wounded soldier in an armored vehicle and continued to resuscitate him for another forty minutes until they arrived at a helicopter landing pad. In the explanation of the special committee’s choice it says: Through his actions, Cpt. Moti Iplah demonstrated a sense of mission, professional courage, decisiveness and level-headedness.

An additional soldier who was involved in the incident and the saving of 2nd Lt. Aharon Kruv’s life was Sgt. Maj. (res.) Ziv, who served as an aerial paramedic of the IAF Search and Rescue Unit. He carried out a surgical operation of introducing an artificial respiration tube through a cut in the neck after consulting the helicopter’s doctor, revealing decisiveness and professionalism – all of this during an operational helicopter flight.

Sgt. Maj. (res.) Ziv, who carried out the entire operation demonstrating high professionalism – and saved the life of 2nd Lt. Kruv – will receive the Honor Citation of the Commander of the Tel Nof Airbase. Through his actions Sgt. Maj. (res.) Ziv, demonstrated a sense of mission, professional courage, decisiveness and level-headedness.

In addition to Cpt. Moti Iplah and Sgt. Mah. Ziv, five additional deserving soldiers and commanders will receive citations: Lt. Efrayim Tehila – company commander in the Egoz Unit of the Golani Brigade – will receive the Honor Citation of the GOC Northern Command, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot. During the first week of Operation Cast Lead, a section of the Spearhead Crew scanned a building in the North of the Sajaya neighborhood in the Gaza Strip. During the search, fire was opened at the forces, which killed the crew commander Lt. Omer Rabinovich.

Lt. Tehila, who was in the back of the house, tried to reach the place Lt. Omer Rabinovich had been hit at, and found himself face to face with a terror operative. Lt. Tehila outflanked the terrorist via a balcony, climbed on the eaves through of the building until he reached the back door of the room the terrorist was in, threw a grenade and killed the terrorist. Through his actions, Lt. Efrayim Tehila showed initiative and ingenuity, comradeship and sense of mission, personal example and the leadership quality in battle.

Staff Sgt. (res.) Menahem Tzik, who served as a medic in the Harub Battalion of the Kfir Brigade, will receive the Honor Citation of the GOC of the Central Command, Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni. On January 8th, the Harub Battalion gained control of a dominant region in the Southern Gaza Strip. At the end of the attack, the commander of a supporting company, Maj. Roi Rosner, and his soldiers were between two buildings they used as shelters. Several RPG missiles were fired at the soldiers and they were shot at with machine guns. Maj. Roi Rosner, who later passed away, and three of his soldiers were wounded.

Staff Sgt. (res.) Tzik, a medic in the company, ran under fire and arrived at the place where the soldiers were hit, without having received an order to do so. He treated the company commander who was severely wounded, and instructed the other soldiers on how to take care of the other casualties.

Staff Sgt. Tzik lead the wounded soldiers from the place of the incident to the battalion’s gathering station. In spite of the doctor’s instructions, he refused to get into one of the rescue vehicles and ran back to the place of the incident to take care of the rest of the injured soldiers. Through his actions, Staff Sgt. Tzik demonstrated initiative and ingenuity, strong-mindedness while risking his own life, comradeship and sense of mission.

An additional recipient of a citation is Staff Sgt. (res.) Ofer Tzahari, soldier in the Cobra Battalion of the Paratroopers Brigade, who will receive the Honor Citation of Commander of the Fire Formation. On January 14th, the Cobra Battalion searched the Salatin neighborhood in the city of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. During the search an encounter occurred, during which the battalion commander, the spearhead company commander and two additional soldiers were wounded. After the incident, the patrol department was sent on a mission to cover the building the wounded were placed in.

Staff Sgt. (res.) Tzahari stood in his covering post in one of the rooms of the building, but sensed that despite the fact that the building was reported secure, there were signs that it had not been scanned properly, and therefore he asked his commander to search again through the floor the force was covering. During the scan, Staff Sgt. (res.) Tzahari encountered a terror operative who opened fire at him. Staff Sgt. (res.) Tzahari prepared a grenade, threw it into the small room and killed the terrorist.

Through his actions, Staff Sgt. (res.) Tzahari demonstrated initiative and ingenuity, level-headedness, personal responsibility and consideration, comradeship and sense of mission.

Staff Sgt. (res.) Ziv Danieli, who served during Operation Cast Lead as a squad commander in the Cobra Battalion of the Paratrooper Brigade, will receive the Honor Citation of the Commander of the Paratrooper Brigade, Col. Hertzl Halevi. On January 14th, the Cobra Battalion scanned the Salatin neighborhood of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip. During the search, a group of soldiers of the spearhead company encountered a number of terror operatives inside a building. The first spearhead team under the command of platoon commander Lt. Omer Dori, exchanged fire with a terrorist, during which the platoon commander was wounded.

Staff Sgt. Danieli, who was outside of the building with his squad, understood that a fire exchange was occurring inside and that they were cut off from the squad inside. He entered the building and reached the platoon commander under fire, took care of his injuries and administrated the fire exchange with the terrorists. Through his actions, Staff Sgt. Danieli demonstrated initiative and ingenuity, personal responsibility, proper judgment and understanding and also comradeship and sense of mission.

Lt. Nadav Mosa, who served as deputy commander of the Operations Company of the Givati Brigade Shaked Battalion during Operation Cast Lead, and is currently studying at the Institute for Tactical Command, will receive the Honor Certificate of the Commander of the Givati Brigade, Col. Moni Katz.

On January 15th, during a scan the Shaked Battalion carried out in a multi-story building in the Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, the forces encountered a group of terror operatives on the first story, who opened fire at the forces, from inside and outside the building.

During the battle, two terrorists jumped outside and opened fire at an armored vehicle with several soldiers under the command of Lt. Mosa.

Lt. Mosa left the armored vehicle and unprotected stood on top of it fired at the terrorists and killed them. Through his actions he demonstrated initiative and ingenuity, leadership quality, level-headedness and strong-mindedness while risking his own life.