Those we have lost

Master Sgt. (res.) Matan Meir, 38: ‘Fauda’ crew member killed in action

A member of the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion, he was killed November 11 while fighting in northern Gaza

Master Sgt. (res.) Matan Meir who was killed in Gaza on November 11, 2023. (Courtesy)
Master Sgt. (res.) Matan Meir who was killed in Gaza on November 11, 2023. (Courtesy)

Master Sgt. (res.) Matan Meir, 38, a soldier in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion and a longtime member of the “Fauda” production team, was killed November 11 in northern Gaza.

Meir was one of four soldiers of the 697th Battalion who was killed by a booby-trapped tunnel shaft next to a mosque in the Beit Hanoun area. The troops were not inside the tunnel.

“Matan, a man with a heart of gold full of kindness and giving,” said actor and “Fauda” co-creator Lior Raz in a statement to Ynet. “I loved you, Matan. You were always available to me at every moment. A man of work and giving out of true love.”

Apart from his work in all four seasons of “Fauda,” Meir worked on other productions, including “The Police,” “Manayek,” “The Dream Owner,” “Magpie” and others.

He was raised and lived in Moshav Odem in the Golan Heights, where he grew cherries, wrote a friend on Facebook.

The main producer of the series, Liat Benasoli, called Meir a “man with a different soul,  a man who entered everyone’s heart,” he said. “A real moshavnik and a man with a real joy in life. A production man who only wanted to help and do for others. And all with a smile and love. We will miss him very much.”

Another friend, Assaf Rapaport, wrote that Meir had been released from his battalion, but was recruited to another battalion.

“The love of the country was in his veins,” wrote Rapaport.

Channel 13 reporter Aviram Elad wrote on X (formerly Twitter), that he had served for five years in the 551st Brigade’s 697th Battalion and the fighters of that unit were the “supreme of Israel, and that there is no more accurate description for this elite group,” said Elad.

The four other soldiers who were killed were Maj. (res.) Moshe Yedidyah Leiter, 39, Sgt. Maj. (res.) Yossi Hershkovitz, 44, Master Sgt. (res.) Sergey Shmerkin, 32, and Master Sgt. (res.) Netanel (Nati) Harush, 34.

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