Tamir Nebuani, who died in a training accident along the Egyptian border Tuesday was the best kept secret in the Druze village of Kfar Julis.
“He was the Druze fighter that advanced the farthest in the Sayeret Matkal (Chief of Staff Reconnaissance Unit),” his neighbors proudly told reporters.
Nebuani, an expert navigator, was engaged in a navigation exercise along the desert border between Israel and Egypt when he fell from a 50-foot ledge.
The IDF has launched an investigation into the incident.
The outstanding soldier was in the final months of his training for Israel’s most prestigious unit. It was Sayeret Matkal that carried out the famous raid on Entebbe, as well as a daring raid inside a hospital in Lebanon this past summer. Most of the unit’s activities are not published, however.
His brother Nazir, who served in an IDF tank unit, spoke with the Maariv newspaper. “With our encouragement, Tamir decided to go to Sayeret Matkal,” Nazir said. “He underwent two surgeries during his service, but returned to the unit each time. It is tragic that he will not finish the training. In our family and community there is no compromise – he who wants to serve, serves – and does the best he can and goes as far as he can.”
Nazir recounted his last call from his brother. “He called me on Shabbat (Saturday) and said he had a difficult exercise coming up,” Nazir recalls. “I told him, ‘You are the bomb – you’ll pass it!’”
Nebuani’s funeral is at Kfar Julis at noon Wednesday.