Two IDF soldiers who were wounded last year while stopping Egyptian smugglers infiltrating the border are to be given a top award by the army.
IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot on Thursday approved the award for Or Ben-Yehuda and Yuri Zoyev. The awards will be presented to the two for their quick thinking action in keeping smugglers – and possibly terrorists – from entering Israel.
The incident occurred last October, when the smugglers attempted to break through the fence protecting Israel from Sinai. The incident took place near the tiny border town of Ezuz, with the smugglers eyeing an IDF jeep and opening fire. Soldiers returned fire, killing as many as six of the group.
Among the weapons used by the group was an anti-tank missile. When the jeep was attacked, Ben-Yehuda exited his jeep and opened fire on the group. The two were moderately wounded in the attack and have since recovered.
In a statement, Eizenkot's office said that the two “showed initiative, determination, and courage in carrying out their mission, and will be rewarded for their efforts.”
Ben-Yehuda is commander of the Lahav unit in the IDF's Officer's School. The mission she is being awarded for took place while she was a member of the IDF's Karakal unit.
According to the army, she played a key role in the incident, directing soldiers on the proper way to respond. As a result, the army said, there was no loss of life on the Israeli side.