Organs of fallen soldier Alemnew Emanuel Feleke donated to save four lives

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Staff Sgt. Alemnew Emanuel Feleke who died on December 6, 2023 after being injured in Gaza the day before. (IDF)
Staff Sgt. Alemnew Emanuel Feleke who died on December 6, 2023 after being injured in Gaza the day before. (IDF)

The National Transplant Center reports that the family of fallen soldier Staff Sgt. Alemnew Emanuel Feleke, 22, has donated his organs to save the lives of others.

Feleke, of the Commando Brigade’s Duvdevan unit, was wounded December 5 during fighting in southern Gaza and succumbed to his wounds the following day. Despite the medical staff’s efforts to save his life at Soroka Medical Center, they were forced to declare him brain dead.

His heart and lungs went to a patient of undisclosed age and gender at Beilinson Hospital and his liver to a 53-year-old woman, also at Beilinson. One of his kidneys and his pancreas were transplanted into a 45-year-old woman at Ichilov Hospital, and his other kidney went to a 58-year-old man at Hadassah Ein Kerem.

Feleke’s brother Noam said that the family’s decision to donate his organs was a way of continuing his spirit of giving.

Feleke’s family made aliya to Israel from Ethiopia in 2004 and lived for a year in an absorption center in Beersheba. From there, they moved to Bat Yam, where Feleke graduated from a yeshiva high school. The family moved to Kiryat Gat four years ago.

While volunteering with the fire and rescue service and guiding in the Bnei Akiva youth movement, Feleke participated in a program that combined Torah study with preparation for army service. He followed that up with additional Torah study in Safed.

According to his brother, Feleke wanted to be drafted into the Commando Brigade but did not initially make it. He was accepted by the paratroopers, and when he tried out again for the Commando Brigade, he made it into the elite Duvdevan unit.

“He had recently finished the training course for that and received a company excellence award. He was supposed to go to officers’ training, but because of the war that got delayed and he stayed where he was to fight,” his brother Noam says.

Noam Feleke said he and the rest of the family were sure that his brother would have wanted his organs donated.

“He was always modest and very much liked to help. He gave of himself all the time, over and over,” he said.

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