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'Bighearted' Fallen Soldier Tried to Save Terrorist's Life

Family and friends spoke of fallen soldier Noam Levi as active, quick-thinking and kind. Last month, Noam fought to save a terrorist's life.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 5/7/2009, 5:22 PM

The family of Noam Adin Rechter Levi, who was killed early Thursday morning in Beir Zeit, near Ramallah, said that Noam was “active, quick-thinking, and curious, with a big heart.” He was always ready to listen and give support and was widely admired by children in his hometown of Mitzpe Netufa.

Noam was born in Canada in 1988, the fourth of five siblings. The family immigrated to Israel when he was a child and moved to the small, religious community of Mitzpe Netufa in the Lower Galilee. Noam was the only member of the family to bear the name “Rechter,” the family name of his grandmother, who survived the Holocaust.

Friends remembered him as a kind, cheerful and athletic young man.

Noam's older brother, Maayan, told reporters that one month before his death, Noam had fought to save the life of a terrorist who was seriously wounded while fighting IDF troops. He tried to save the terrorist out of a basic respect for human life, Maayan recalled.

On Thursday morning, soldiers entered Beir Zeit, north of Ramallah, to arrest suspected terrorists. During the operation, soldiers encountered resistance from local Arabs, and shots were fired. Levi was critically wounded and died a short time later.

Following the incident, rumors circulated that Levi had been killed by friendly fire. IDF officials rejected the rumors on Thursday afternoon, stating that Levi had not been killed by a fellow soldier. However, officials did not rule out the possibility that Levi was somehow killed by a bullet from his own gun during the battle.

Noam will be buried on Friday at 11 a.m. in the Mitzpe Netufa cemetery.