Israeli ex-special ops commander found dead in Thailand
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Israeli ex-special ops commander found dead in Thailand

Storied Shayetet 13 chief Gadi Shefi's body discovered in Pattaya hotel room; suspected cause of death is heart attack

Former commander of the Israeli Navy's Shayetet 13 special operations unit Gadi Sheffi. (Facebook)
Former commander of the Israeli Navy's Shayetet 13 special operations unit Gadi Sheffi. (Facebook)

A former head of the Israeli Navy’s special operations unit died in Thailand this weekend after suffering an apparent heart attack while on vacation.

The body of Gadi Shefi, 76, was discovered over the weekend in a hotel room the southern resort city of Pattaya after he went missing a week earlier. His family was notified Monday night, his son Ari Shefi said in a Tuesday statement on Facebook.

“At this hard and painful time, we want to thank everyone for the help in finding our father,” Ari Shefi wrote.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it is assisting the family in bringing Shefi’s body to Israel.

Shefi headed the Flotilla13 special operations unit from 1976 to 1978, during which he oversaw a number of then-secret operations into Lebanon.

Writing on Twitter Tuesday, former prime minister and IDF chief of staff Ehud Barak described Shefi as a “courageous warrior, a man of truth and an outstanding symbol of leading by personal example.”

The news of Shefi’s death comes just days after the head of the Binyamina Regional Council in Israel’s north died Saturday after suffering a heart attack while vacationing with his family in Vietnam.

Pinhas Zoaretz, 53, was a colonel in the IDF before becoming the regional council head in 2013.

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