The son of an IDF soldier brutally lynched by Palestinian Arab terrorists in Ramallah fifteen years ago has enlisted to the Israel Police corps – and is determined to make his father's story heard.
Reservists Yossi Avrahami and Vadim Nurzhitz lost their way to their base on October 12, 2000, ending up in the Palestinian Authority (PA) controlled city of Ramallah by mistake. PA police forces took the two into custody.
Word reached local PA residents that undercover Israeli agents were being held in the building; some 1000 rioters reportedly gathered outside. The IDF declined to take action to rescue the soldiers; they were eventually stormed by the rioters.
One terrorist, Aziz Salha, reached the soldiers first, where he brutally murdered them – stabbing, beating, and dismembering them along with other rioters. He famously then stuck his bloodstained hands out of the window of the room where the two were held, eliciting cheers from the crowd.
The crowd then dragged the bodies to a central square, beating them further before setting up a victory celebration. PA police forces did not attempt to intervene and in some cases, participated in the barbarism.
Finding the truth
Yossi's son Roey Avrahami, 20, reflected to Walla! News on Sunday that his decision to join the Israel Police is the outcropping of learning the truth behind his father's murder.
"My childhood was not different from every other child's," Avrahami told the daily. "Yes, this happened, but it's important to remember that I was only five when it happened."
"I was very small, and my mother saved me and my little brother from 99% of the details," he explained. "My mother worried that [knowing] would not be good for us after what happened; we were raised in a normal atmosphere, in a normal environment, and we didn't feel different."
Avrahami first found out about his father's murder when he was nine; as he grew older, he began to educate himself on the event through newspaper archives and the internet. By now, he says, he has watched the video footage of his father's murder 20-30 times to truly understand the magnitude of what happened.
The experience propelled him to join IDF combat duty, even though his mother insisted to him his whole life that he would not be drafted to combat, as his family had suffered enough.
In his father's footsteps
When he was 16, he volunteered – and he noted Sunday that the decision may only partially have been influenced by his father's story, which he hopes the younger generation will not forget.
"I do not know whether to say [my joining the IDF is] 100% because of the story with him, but it could be," he said. "In a sense, the story of my father has an effect on everything I do, whether I want it to or not."
"I'm his son, it's his life story, it's my family," he continued. "It's waiting for me at any moment."
"Although I did not tell myself that the story of my father would pave my path in life, I do not like when people pity me or make it easy on me because of it," he added.
Avrahami, who passed an officer's course, now wants the Israel Police to know his father's story and learn from it.
"In recent years, I've seen that young people do not know this story. Only people aged 35 and older will remember, and that's hard," he reflected.
"I wanted to teach a lesson to my department, so I talked with my advisor and they offered me something within the larger framework of the whole department," he said. "If I can speak to a large number of people about it, and not just my department, it would be my and my father's honor to present what happened."