3 years later, in Hurfish they still miss Lt. Col. Mahmoud Khir al-Din: "From the heroes of the village"
Residents of the village of the officer who was killed in a secret operation in Gaza describe an educator, a leader and a friend.
"He was loyal to the State of Israel, he always said that we should mobilize and serve the state," his friend said.
With the publication of his name, they described the difficult period: "It was impossible to say a word, doing good to the people who revealed it"
Sunday, 15 May 2022, 12:52 Updated: 14:21
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ND Lieutenant Colonel M., a fighter in an elite unit, married and a father of two from the north, killed in a special IDF operation in the heart of the Gaza Strip (Photo: Reuters and Walla! NEWS Archive, edited by Niv Maoz)
In Hurfish, Mahmoud Khir al-Din's village of residence, the name of the officer killed in a secret operation in Khan Yunis in 2018 was known, but it is believed that today (Sunday), when his name was allowed to be published, is a significant milestone.
"Now one can find that one of the most beautiful and brave from the village has gone," said the villager.
"We all knew, but it was forbidden to say," a Defense Ministry employee added at the military cemetery.
Louis Marai, a resident of the village and a friend of Mahmoud, expressed his excitement at the publication of Hir al-Din's name.
"He deserves that it will now be possible to give him the respect he deserves," he said.
"He is one of the heroes of the village, it is a pride for all of us and for the entire State of Israel."
Marai was a fighter in a sword battalion, both of whose legs were amputated in an encounter in Lebanon.
He said that in his lectures it was difficult not to tell about Mahmoud, "it was a difficult time that it was impossible to say a word," he said, "it does good to the people who revealed the story."
More on Walla!
Permitted for publication: Mahmoud Khir al-Din is the officer killed in the secret operation in Khan Yunis in 2018
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"One of the most beautiful and brave."
Khir al-Din (Photo: IDF Spokesman)
Three weeks before the operation in Gaza in which Hir al-Din was killed, he was sitting with Louis.
"I did not know he was in a special unit," Marai noted, "he did not tell and no one knew about it. When he was killed his story in the army surprised everyone."
He defined him as a special person.
"We only talk about him well," he added, "he was very loyal to the State of Israel, he always said that he should enlist to serve the state, he emphasized that he should be combative. He himself was what is called 'poisoned'. He loved the army very much. He was one of the leaders of the 'After' movement and would encourage them to serve meaningfully. "
Former Hurfish local council chief Lt. Col. (Res.) Rakhad Haydan said he has known Hir al-Din since his birth. , So to me he's like my son, "he said." We knew he was meant for greatness.
"Mahmoud was a very early leader, even when he was a small child," he said.
"Fell in battle."
The tomb of Hir al-Din (Photo: Yoav Itiel)
Haidan wanted to emphasize the human figure of Mahmoud, not just the military.
"A man of discourse, a person who is all about giving, a man of society who is involved not only in everything small and big that happens in the family, but also in the community," he said.
"A member of the school's parent committee while he was a senior officer in special units, in retrospect we understand he was probably in training and exercises and preparing for operations. He hid so much that some family members did not even know he was in the army until it became clear to them after his death."
The former council chairman went on to say that a week before he fell, he was still at school events.
"He founded the Ofakim La'atid youth movement of hundreds and thousands of Druze youth who were educated in this system. He himself was an example and role model for the youth. Even during his military service he thought about how he was going to contribute after the army, and education was at the forefront of his mind."
He noted that Mahmoud had planned to become a school principal and had already held a lot of preparatory meetings on the subject.
"He was always smiling."
The tomb of Hir al-Din (Photo: Yoav Itiel)
The "Sambusk Harez" restaurant said that excitement gripped the village already during the night, when it became known that the publicity was more in the morning.
"It's especially exciting for us," the three workers said, "we all knew Mahmoud because he would come in here to eat almost every day when he was in the village, and he would always smile."
Sheikh Mofek Tarif, head of the Druze community, said Shahir al-Din is "one of the best builders of the Druze community and the State of Israel, the salt of the earth, values, patriot, brave, pioneering and heroic."
He stressed the contribution of the Druze community to the protection of the state and hinted at the law of the nation: "On this day, when the name of a hero who fell in a heroic battle was revealed, it is appropriate that decision makers make a mental account of their treatment of the community."
Army and Security