Police in mourning: The most veteran sniper in the Israel Police’s elite anti-terror unit, YAMAM, was killed Thursday in the terrorist offensive
in southern Israel.
The 49-year-old Pascal Avrahami left a wife, Sima, and three children aged 25, 20 and 18. His death brought the toll in Thursday’s terror assault up to eight.
Escalation in south:
The religious Avrahami was born in France and moved to Israel in 1977. He joined YAMAM in 1985 and was trained as a fighter and sniper. During his service he took part in numerous operations and received two citations for his bravery.
Avrahami was killed by terrorist fire near the Egyptian border while Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz briefed journalists nearby.
The announcement of Avrahami’s death was made while some of his comrades were still in the field, hunting for more terrorists.
“He was a rare, exceptional man,” a Border Guard official who knew Avrahami said. “He raised generations of fighters in this elite unit…he had quite a reputation within the unit.”
Another officer familiar with Avrahami said: “He was a top-notch, professional fighter; a big gun.”
Immediately after the announcement of Avrahami’s death, many of his friends and relatives arrived at his home in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood to support his family and offer condolences.
“There’s nobody like him in the world,” said his sister in law Leah Ben-Hemo while crying. “He was a model father who took care of his family and made sure everyone was well.”
Terrorists who infiltrated Israel Thursday killed six civilians, a soldier and police officer Avrahami in separate incidents. The attackers targeted a bus, civilian vehicles and soldiers, in one of the worst attacks to hit Israel in recent years. Later, the IDF bombed Gaza targets, killing the top terrorists
believed to be behind the attacks.