Those we have lost

Command Sgt. Maj. Denis Belenky, 47: Lion-hearted police officer

Killed battling Hamas at the Sderot police station on October 7

Command Sgt. Maj. Denis Belenky who was killed at the Sderot police station on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)
Command Sgt. Maj. Denis Belenky who was killed at the Sderot police station on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)

Command Sgt. Maj. Denis Belenky, 47, from Ofakim, was killed defending the Sderot police station from Hamas terrorists on October 7.

He is survived by his father, Alexander, his wife, Olga, and their three children.

Belenky was born in Kaliningrad, in the former Soviet Union, according to a profile on the Ofakim municipal website. He led a happy childhood, and after his parents’ divorce, he moved to Israel with his father’s family. They settled in Beersheba, where Belenky finished secondary school and enlisted in the IDF. After his service, he worked in security in Jerusalem’s Old City.

He began his career as a policeman at age 26, serving in the Yasam special patrol unit in Hebron. He proved an excellent shot and eventually served as a shooting instructor.

In 2007, he married Olga and raised her daughter, Nestia, as his own. The family lived in Ma’ale Adumim for a time and then moved to Beersheba, where they had two more children, Polina and Daniel.

When they moved again to Ofakim, Belenky took a policing job in nearby Sderot.

According to the Ofakim municipal website, Belenky was finishing a night shift on the morning of October 7. He raced to the police station and fought valiantly to defend it, but he and his fellow police officers were ultimately overpowered by the sheer number of Hamas terrorists and the weaponry they carried.

שיר באהבה – הראל מויאל

הראל מויאל נפרד מחברו לשירות דניס בלנקי ז"ל, שנפל בקרב על תחנת המשטרה בשדרות

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Singer Harel Moyal, who served with Belenky in Hebron, said he would light up a room with his smile. “He had the heart of a lion,” Moyal shared, adding that he also fought like a lion, taking down several terrorists before the police station was overrun.

Belenky was buried on October 9 in the Ofakim Cemetery.

Friends described Belenky as having a perpetual smile and being an active member of the community wherever he went. Those who worked with him admired his dedication to police work and willingness to lend a helping hand.

“He had no bad in him,” wrote a colleague on an online memorial posting. “He had a constant smile… He was the officers’ favorite shooting instructor.”

“You were one of a kind,” another former colleague wrote. “I am so proud of you.”

“He must have been one of the first to rush toward the terrorists,” wrote Avi Leibovich, who served with Belenky in the IDF, on Facebook. “He was a brave man with a big heart.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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