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Zalman Abramov, one of the founders of Sheitat 13, passed away - voila! news


Abramov was also one of the sinkers of the Egyptian warship "Hamir Farouk" in the War of Independence. Later in his life he devoted himself to agriculture, and even helped Iranian farmers whose villages were damaged by an earthquake. He left behind a wife, three daughters, 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. "The last of the Nefilim of Moshav Mehravia"

Fleet 13 and special forces of the US army take over a ship and rescue a force from enemy territory (photo: IDF spokesperson, editing: Noa Levy)

Zalman Abramov, one of the founders of Sheitat 13 and one of the sinkers of the Egyptian warship "Hamir Farouk" in the War of Independence, passed away today (Wednesday) in Moshav Merhavia in the Jezreel Valley.

"The last of the Nephilim of the Merhavia Moshav," said Dalia Fleck, a member of the Moshav, about him.

He was born in Merhavia in 1926 to parents Bat Sheva and Ephraim, who immigrated to Israel in 1920 and three years later joined Merhavia, which was established in 1911. The couple had two more younger sons.

In 1946 he enlisted in the Palmach and at the beginning of the summer of 1947 he was transferred to the Palmach, which was the naval unit of the Palmach. As part of this, he went through a course for boat commanders. In October 1947, he went through a course for explosives officers under the command of Haim Singer, and in December of the same year he participated in unloading infiltrators from the ship. After that, until May 15, 1948, he was in the "Port Company" in Haifa.

During the war, it was decided to form a unit of explosive boats that would destroy the Egyptian warships that gave the Egyptian army naval superiority and threatened the shores of Israel, Zalman was added to the unit commanded by Yohai Ben-Nun.

For the purpose of training the fighters to operate the explosive boats, Fiorenzo Capriotti, a skilled instructor in this method of warfare, came to Israel from Italy and he trained the young fighters in the secret weapon.

"The last of the Nefilim of Moshav Mehravia".

Zalman Abramov (photo: courtesy of the family)

as a naval officer.

Zalman Abramov (photo: courtesy of the family)

The small unit was housed in a hotel in the old city of Tiberias, most of which was empty after the Arab residents had left it a few months before, in April 1948. The hotel was run by a couple of Holocaust survivors who did not know Hebrew and would communicate with the young Palmachniks in the poor Yiddish they had heard from their parents. Abramov said that the same couple, Motka and Liuba, would wait for them with fine meals at any hour of the day, even late at night when they left training in the heart of the Sea of ​​Galilee. The cover story for the unit that arrived for training in the Sea of ​​Galilee was that it was navy personnel whose job it would be to rescue pilots who abandoned their damaged planes.

According to Zalman, Capriotti asked Ben-Nun when the fighters would come to him for training because he found it difficult to believe that the brash Palmachniks who did not wear military uniforms and did not shave, were indeed the ones who would carry out the mission for which they were destined. Later he learned to appreciate the dedication and sense of mission that accompanied the fighters He trained them and began to trust them. On October 15, the IDF launched Operation Yoav in the Negev, which was designed to push back the Egyptian army and liberate the isolated settlements.

It was decided that as part of the operation, the naval unit would be activated to attack the Egyptian warships that were transporting ammunition and fighters to the Gaza Strip.

The sinking of the ships was supposed to take place at noon on October 22, before the effective date of a ceasefire agreed upon by the parties.

It was an operation in daylight, contrary to the doctrine of warfare we trained for, according to which one must act by surprise in the dark.

Finally, the operation was postponed until dark on the grounds that the Egyptians had violated the ceasefire.

Abramov and Brockman show Ben Gurion the operation plan (photo: official website, Palmach photo archive)

A moment after they drowned "Hamir Farouk" (photo: official website, Dor Palmach association)

Five fighters participated in the daring action: the three attack boats were piloted by Zalman, Ben-Nun and Yaakov Vardi and the boat intended to collect them after they abandoned the explosive boats was piloted by Yaakov Ritov and Yitzchak Brockman.

By the way, during the training, Capriotti objected to the addition of a collection boat to the operation.

"He told us - 'either we are killed or we are taken prisoner,'" said Zalman.

"He told us - 'You are probably not such great heroes'. We told him we were returning home to mother and it was decided to add a mother boat to the attack structure to collect the fighters."

Zalman was the first in the formation to sail his explosive boat, which was loaded with 300 kg of explosives, towards the "Hamir Farouk" ship. In the operation, another ship was also sunk to secure it. This operation is considered the first of the 13th flotilla of which Zalman is one of the founders.

After the war, the Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, David Ben-Gurion, decided to award 12 bravery decorations, the highest decoration, to 12 fighters in the battles of the War of Independence.

He decided that only one of the Egyptian ship sinkers would be awarded the badge and it was awarded to the commander of the operation, Yohai Ben-Nun.

Zalman and the three other fighters who participated in the operation were awarded a certificate of appreciation by Ben Gurion.

The keeper of the fields of the Jezreel Valley.

Abramov (photo: courtesy of the family)

Zalman went to an officer's course and continued to serve in the navy.

Over many years he would come to give lectures to the fighters of the fleet and many times the young fighters would come to visit him at the seat.

After he was released from permanent service, he returned to Moshav, to the family farm.

He married Rachel, also from Moshav Mehravia and the couple had three daughters - Zohar, Ora and Tamar.

Abramov raised sheep and orchards and the hard work in agriculture was the most significant and long chapter of his life.

In addition, he also held the position of field guard of the Jezreel Valley Regional Council.

In 1964, he went with his family on a mission from the State of Israel to help Iranian farmers, whose villages were destroyed by an earthquake, and advised in the field of sheep breeding.

It was as part of a delegation of agricultural instructors who left with their families. With the establishment of the settlements in the Golan Heights, after the Six Day War, he worked as a guide for raising sheep in the young settlements.

Horse riding was a particularly favorite hobby of his and he is one of the founders and organizers of the "Sociada" events held for many years in Afula.

Zalman was the grandfather of ten grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Together with his wife, Rachel, he was an active and loving partner in their lives.

His funeral will be held tomorrow at 15:30 in Moshav Merhavia.

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Source: walla

All news articles on 2023-01-18

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