Sargeant Maksym Molchanov was identified as the soldier who was killed on Thursday, in the deadly terror attack. He had immigrated on his own from Kharkiv in Ukraine and enlisted into a combat unit.
Yevgeny Molchanov, Maksym's father said his son was proud of his service in the IDF. "My son was always about truth. He was always the first to help others. A year ago, he donated bone marrow to a child in Germany. He was very proud that he wasn't just in the army but in a combat unit. He was very special, a gentle soul, always open to everyone."
News of his death was conveyed to his family by Rabbi Miriam Moskowitz, a Chabad emissary in Kharkiv after her husband received a call from the military, asking for his help in locating them.
"We understood the importance of the IDF's request and decided that I would be the one to go and inform the family. I took another member of the synagogue and some medicine with me and on the way, we were given more detailed and guidance," she said. "It's hard to describe what happened after we delivered the devastating news about the car-ramming terror attack. There were difficult moments of tears and shock. We cried together with them over the profound loss," she said.
Maxim arrived in Israel in 2017 at the age of 15 as part of the "Na'aleh" project (Youth Making Aliyah Before Their Parents). He stayed at the youth village of the Jewish Agency. Anat Sa'ar, his counselor at the youth village "Hadassah Neurim," told Ynet that he was "An extraordinary child."
"After the donation, we had a meeting, and I told him that he was a hero. However, he responded, 'I don't feel at ease being labeled a hero. I did it because it had to be done,'" Anath Sa'ar recounted, adding, "It suits him to do something like this; it was in his nature to help others and only later think about himself."
The soldier was killed and five others were injured, one seriously, when a 41-year-old terrorist, married and the father of five children, from the Palestinian village of Deir Amar rammed his truck into the troops near a checkpoint leading to the West Bank from central Israel. He was shot and wounded by guards.
Israel Police Central District Commander Avi Biton told Ynet that the terrorist had a permit to work in Israel. He said the terrorist did not go through the Maccabim checkpoint itself but entered earlier, using his work permit. He then drove towards the highway leading to Jerusalem, made a U-turn, and after about 100 meters ran over the young soldiers who were standing on the side the road.
Ukraine's Ambassador to Israel, Yevgen Korniychuk, expressed Thursday his condolences to the family of Sergeant Maksym Molchanov, the lone soldier from Ukraine who was killed in the car-ramming terror attack at the Maccabim checkpoint. "We share in the family's pain and grief. May both our nations, the Israeli and Ukrainian, enjoy peace and tranquility, and may the pain cease to be a part of our lives," the ambassador said.
First published: 21:16, 08.31.23