Lt. Binyamin Mamo, 22, will receive a Citation of Merit from the Head of Southern Command Tuesday, but he isn't sure what the fuss is about.
"I don't feel like a hero,” he told Israel Hayom's Lilach Shoval. “I did what I had to do. Long ago, in the Yom Kippur War and the Six Day War, people did heroic deeds. When they defined me as a part of that… I don't deserve something that big.”
In Protective Edge, Lt. Mamo was a platoon commander in the 52nd Battalion of the 401st Armored Corps Brigade. His citation is being given for two events. In the first, Lt. Mamo's tank ran over two terrorists.
The terrorists were firing on IDF forces but were located between Mamo's tank and another force, and if he fired on them – he ran the risk of hitting the other IDF force. Lt. Mamo decided to take an unusual step and run over the terrorists. With his head outside the tank turret, as expected of a commander, he instructed his men to drive forward and run over the terrorists, and then drive in reverse and run over them again. He then threw a grenade to make sure the terrorists were neutralized.
"I did what I had to do,” he told Shoval. “This is considered unusual because you don't run over terrorists every day, but the crew did the right thing.”
The second event mentioned in the citation was Mamo's decision to fix a tank that had been disabled, before the assault on Hirbet a-Hizeh, without waiting for the Armaments Corps, so as not to delay the attack. “My sergeant's tank was seriously stuck – it fell into a hole,” he recalled. “It took us almost three hours to fix it. There was firing all around, mortar shells were falling. It was stressful. The entire force got out of the tank and we deployed around the tanks. There were many explosions all around. It took 2.5 hours to extricate the tank.”
Lt. Mamo said everything he did was par for the course – but “if the parents feel good as a result then it is worth it.”