Family of fallen pilot demand open investigation
The family of Maj. Dudi Zohar, killed on Monday in a helicopter accident, demand to investigate incident openly; Lt. A., who was seriously injured in the accident, is the nephew of Zohar's best friend and fellow pilot who died in another aerial crash 14 years ago.

The late Maj. Dudi Zohar intended to accompany his son Tomer on his first day in the first grade on September 1. But Maj. Zohar was killed in an Apache helicopter crash on Monday night, and what was supposed to be a joyous event for the entire family would be painted with the seal of disaster.



Tomer is the youngest of Zohar's four children. He was named after his best friend, Maj. Tomer Gutterman, who served with him in the same squadron and died in a helicopter crash in southern Israel in 2003. Maj. Gutterman is the uncle of Lieutenant A., who was with Maj. Zohar in the Apache helicopter on Monday and was seriously injured in the crash. A. has been hospitalized in Soroka Medical Center for the past two days.


Maj. Zohar
Maj. Zohar


Hundreds of people streamed into the Zohar family home in the Ramat Begin neighborhood of Haifa, trying in vain to find words of comfort in the face of the terrible loss. Zohar's family includes his wife, Galit, their four children aged six to fourteen, his parents Aliza and Jackie, and his brother and sister.


Dudi's brother Shaul stated that the family is now dealing with a tangle of emotions, comprised of shock, longing and anger. "We know the people in the Air Force," he said. "We have no doubt they will do the best job in investigating the circumstances of the accident, and we expect that the investigation will be as open as possible, not a closed internal investigation. Don't tell us, 'It's okay, trust us.'


"There is definitely anger now, because we do not know what happened. Slowly the facts will become clearer and the anger will find the right direction to which it should be directed," he added.


IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott referred to Zohar's death during a ceremony on Thursday celebrating the appointment of Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin to Israeli Air Force commander. "This week, we unfortunately lost Maj. Zohar, may he rest in peace, in an accident," he said. "Commanders are also tested in times like this. I think the Air Force is at its best in the way it embraces the families, and in a way it knows how to properly look at the facts."


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