The late Chief Superintendent Avi Amar, a police officer in the southern district, who was called up to Be'eri on Saturday, was caught on camera hugging a soldier who was having trouble dealing with the sights in the field. An hour later he fell in battle while fighting with terrorists. "He maintained his composure and humanity until he fell," said his subordinates
On the first day of the Shiva (a week-long mourning period for first-degree relatives) for Chief Superintendent Avi Amar, his relatives received a particularly moving memento: his last photograph, in which he is commemorated kneeling, hugging, caressing and comforting an IDF soldier who was shattered by the horrific sights.
"We have no idea who took the picture, they just made sure the picture would reach us," says his brother, Lior Amar. "The picture was taken about an hour before he was killed in Kibbutz Be'eri. The last picture of Amar depicts exactly the characteristics of the fighter we lost. On the one hand, he embraces and hugs tightly and powerfully the IDF soldier who went through shell shock, and on the other hand, you see a lot of tenderness. I see in the picture my brother Avi, who is all heart, conveys calmness to an IDF fighter, in the midst of all the chaos and shooting by terrorists during the Black horrific Saturday."
The late Chief Superintendent Avi Amar, a senior police officer in the Yoav unit of the southern district, was killed in the battle against the terrorists in Kibbutz Be'eri. Amar was a father of six - the oldest is 22 and the youngest celebrated her 7th birthday yesterday (Sunday) without her father.
Chief Superintendent Amar, who lived in Moshav Otzem, woke up to the rocket barrages and alarms on Saturday two weeks ago, like hundreds of the southern district policemen who live near the Gaza Strip and the southern settlements. He joined his superior, Commander Avi Levy, and went fighting in the city of Sderot as well as in the police station where eight policemen were killed while fighting against 25 terrorists who infiltrated the station equipped with immense firepower.
Amar's brother recounts: "As early as 7am he was fighting against the terrorists. First, he fought along with his commander in Sderot. At one point he was called up to Kibbutz Kfar Aza and helped rescue the residents of the kibbutz." According to the brother, the last photo of Amar was taken in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, a strong photo that combines power and softness in the midst of the battle.
"During the shiva, we heard many stories about Avi, of how he saved people in the city of Sderot," the brother continues. "In our last conversation, at about 12:15pm, I told him 'Avi, don't be a hero' and the conversation ended with a smile." Then Amar headed to Kibbutz Be'eri, where there was heavy fighting against terrorists. "The connection with Avi was lost at 2 p.m. that Saturday and we were very worried about him."
Amar's daughter, Stav, told Ynet this morning that when she and her sister were shown the picture of the hug that her father gave, "we held our breaths because we know that hug, we know what it feels like. You can see it in the picture, he is literally grabbing him with his fingers." She added: "This is a picture of a soldier, who naturally, like a child, was frightened by the sights and went into some kind of shock and started crying and shouting. The policemen told us that they didn't know what to do. One policeman took his weapon from him, and they just stood around him, and conducted the fighting.
"My father stopped everything, he bent down to the soldier, hugged him as you can see in the picture. He really grabs him, it's a hug I've experienced dozens of times. This hug makes you forget everything around you. He is actually the only one who managed to calm him down. This is also the last picture of my father and tells exactly who he is."
Chief Inspector M. from Yoav's unit says: "During the fighting, a soldier from the settlement of Kfar Aza approached us and started crying. Avi immediately prostrated himself on the floor, hugged him, saying to him: 'Don't worry, we'll get through this, I'm watching over you."
Amar's police subordinates share another story that testifies to the values of Chief Superintendent Amar. After hours of fighting, the policemen were very thirsty. One of the policemen recounts: "Avi our commander, in the middle of the fighting, arrived at a nearby gas station that was abandoned. He took six boxes of water bottles, and in the middle of the fight, while the bullets were fired above us, he called up the owner of the store at the gas station, and I heard him saying: 'Nadir, bill me for six boxes of water.' I looked at him and said to him: 'Avi, are you joking?' And Avi answered me: 'This is my friend, the owner, don't worry.' This is what characterized Avi. He was determined to rescue policemen and civilians and despite the horrors, he maintained his humanity until he was killed. He wasn't able to pay for the water he took in the middle of the battle. "
The police commander of the southern district, Major General Amir Cohen, went to visit Amar's family to provide comfort and said afterward: "I came to convey my condolences, but the family gave me strength. It was an emotional moment when the father of our brave fighter, Avi Amar, placed his hands on my head and blessed me and the Israel Police officers."
Chief Superintendent Avi Amar is survived by his wife and six children, parents and ten siblings.