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Arnon Zamora's wife says goodbye: 'Long before he was a fighter and a hero, he was an amazing partner, a perfect father'

Arnon Zamora fell in the heroic op to rescue the four hostages in Gaza. His wife Michal paid tribute to him: "A loving and beloved man. This is how we will remember him, and I'd love for you to, too." The name of the operation to rescue the hostages was changed to 'Operation Arnon'

The wife of Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, an officer of the elite Yamam counter-terrorism unit who was killed Saturday in the daring operation to free the four hostages, paid tribute to him in a post she wrote on Facebook.
"Everything is now filled with the image of the late hero Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora. But long before he was a warrior and hero he was a sweet man. An amazing partner, and a perfect father. A loving and beloved man. That's how we'll remember him, and I'd love for you to, too," Michal Zamora wrote.
Arnon Zamora, 36, lived in Sde David near Sderot. He left behind Michal, and two children. His funeral will take place Sunday at 4 p.m. at Mount Herzl.
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פקד ארנון זמורה ז"ל
פקד ארנון זמורה ז"ל
Michal and Arnon Zamora
The IDF paid tribute to Arnon and noted that he was injured when he "went at the head of the force." A statement published by the IDF spokesman, read: "The IDF mourns the fallen Israel Police ‘Yamam' (National Counter-Terrorism Unit) Squad Commander, Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora. Arnon is an Israeli hero, who loved and protected his country. He led the force that rescued the four hostages from the central Gaza Strip and returned them to Israel. The IDF salutes his memory."
IDF Border Guard Commander Chief Yitzhak Barik paid tribute to the fallen police officer and said that "Arnon was among the fighters who fought with supreme valor on October 7, including in Yad Mordechai, on the Gaza border, and prevented the terrorist infiltration from spreading north in the direction of Tel Aviv, and in many other operations to counter terrorism, and in his activities, he defended the State of Israel On behalf of the Border Guard, I share in the family's grief."
Yad Mordechai paid tribute to to the fallen soldier. "Arnon is the commander of the team from the IDF who fought at the Yad Mordechai junction on October 7 and prevented an assault on the standby unit of Kibbutz Yad Mordechai. In the defense of the kibbutz, he and his team killed 37 Nukbha terrorists who broke into the country. A few months ago he came to meet the standby squad and tell the story of the battle."
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Arnon Zamora with his children
Yael, Arnon's friend who in his youth was his guide in the moshavim movement, told about the battles in which he took part on October 7. "Arnon and his team arrived on October 7 at the Yad Mordechai intersection and fought the terrorists there. They saw a police car there with policemen asking for help. They quickly and heroically eliminated the terrorists and then they continued to Nahal Oz and then to Be'eri, they lost friends, they fought all that day."
Mike Zilberg, Arnon's friend, told Ynet this morning: "Arnon would have hated this attention, and I'm only speaking because of what Michal wrote. I want him to be remembered not only as a commander. I met him 12-15 years ago, after my post-army trip. He was charismatic, young; I was 4 years older and much less experienced than him. People should take his legacy and learn to be like him."
"Arnon used to pay special attention to his soldiers' spouses and children out of understanding and knowledge of the heavy price their families pay for their dedicated and difficult service. He encouraged them and the fighters to be open and talk about the difficult experiences and made sure to create a space for sharing and mutual support," Zilberg said.
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פקד ארנון זמורה ז"ל
פקד ארנון זמורה ז"ל
Arnon Zmaora
The message he sent to his soldiers on last month's Yom Hazikaron, or Memorial Day, testifies to his large heart and special personality:
"Memorial Day is always complex and difficult, but today is especially difficult. The memory of the friends is still sharp and clear and their actions still resonate and make waves. Every day more and more details are revealed about that cursed Saturday and what we had to deal with. That day made me even more aware of how lucky I am I was privileged to serve by your side. Special people with wonderful abilities and especially good people. Those who had imagination and thoughts about the needs in every operation. These are the ones that are required to stand up and give the operational solution. We are getting closer and closer to carrying out the most valuable values possible. The team stands at the decisive points and I want you to know that I wouldn't ask for anyone else next to me but you. Celebrate our 76 years of independence - It is you who have made it possible and are making it possible. It is you and your families who are sacrificing for all. I want you to know how proud I am and how I love you."
Arnon also conveyed the message to the group of his soldiers' spouses, adding: "This is what I sent to the team. I also want to say to you, we wouldn't even be able to tie our shoes without you, you are the ones who sacrifice, you are the ones who solve the problems and you are the ones who support us when we fall. I love you too."
Flag march honoring Arnon Zmora
(Photo: Shalev Shalom)

After the soldier's death, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the name of the operation to rescue the hostages in Nuseurat, "Summer Seeds", would be changed to "Operation Arnon."
The police said of the fallen soldier: "Arnon led the force that entered the building where the hostages Almog, Shlomi and Andrey were held."
Arnon was injured in the heroic operation during a fight against a terrorist who was guarding the room in the building where the hostages were held. He was seriously injured, and his death was determined later in the hospital. Arnon is the Yamam's 11th casualty since October 7, when nine fighters were killed on that day, and last month the late Yitav Lev Halevi was killed in action in Tulkarm.
"The soldiers of the IDF work ferociously for the people of Israel - wherever they are required to do so," the police said.
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