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Police commando killed in Jenin operation receives posthumous promotion

Force announces that Noam Raz, a veteran of the elite Yamam unit, will be given rank of command sergeant major; funeral to be held Sunday at Mount Herzl

Noam Raz. (Courtesy)
Noam Raz. (Courtesy)

Noam Raz, a veteran police commando killed on Friday in an Israeli operation near Jenin, will be posthumously promoted to the rank of command sergeant major, the force announced on Saturday evening.

“Raz belonged to a small and special group of officers and warriors who put the good of the state and security of its citizens first. He dedicated his life to his friends in the unit and for the police and the country,” said Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai.

The longtime member of the elite Yamam counterterrorism unit is due to be buried on Sunday in the police section of Mount Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem. His family has requested that the funeral be closed to media coverage.

Raz, 47, a founder and resident of the Kida settlement in the West Bank, leaves behind a wife and six children. Police hailed him as an experienced fighter who had “taken part in hundreds of operations to prevent terror, risked himself and saved lives.”

On Friday, Shabtai revealed that Raz, who was a paramedic in the unit, saved the life of a seriously wounded comrade during a recent previous clash in Jenin.

“Heroism and values were inherent in his character and operational activity in the Yamam,” he said.

Smoke rises from a home during an Israeli military operation in the West Bank town of Jenin, May 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Raz was hit by gunfire during an operation that included raids on terror suspects’ homes in the town of Burqin, near Jenin in the West Bank. He was evacuated to the Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

Hospital officials said he arrived in a critical condition. They attempted prolonged efforts to resuscitate him, but he had complex wounds to his upper body and eventually they were forced to declare him dead.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Friday that Israel has lost a hero.

“During his 23 years of service in the unit, Noam participated in numerous counter-terror operations, risked himself, and saved lives, as his commanders would testify — with courage and humility,” Bennett said.

“We will continue to fight terrorism decisively and with an iron fist until we overcome it and return security to Israeli citizens. This is Noam’s legacy,” the Israeli premier added.

President Isaac Herzog also sent “condolences from the depths of my heart to his grieving family,” saying he had “participated in numerous special operations and saved many lives.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz sent condolences to the family and said Israel would continue its relentless campaign against terrorism.

“We will continue to fight terrorists, those who send them, their accomplices, and anyone who attempts to harm Israel’s citizens,” Gantz tweeted.

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