'Suddenly we were told - we've got Johnny'

Commander of Nachshon Battalion of Kfir Brigade Company tells of behind-the-scenes action capturing murderer of Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal.

Mordechai Sones,

Nachshon Battalion fighters
Nachshon Battalion fighters
Flash 90

Captain Itzik Mizrahi of the Kfir Brigade's Nachshon Battalion described the operation to apprehend the terrorist who murdered Rabbi Itamar Ben Gal in the city of Ariel last month.

"For a whole month of working around the clock, night after night, we did everything to catch the Ariel terrorist.

"Like every other night, we had a final briefing, an operational drill, and again we entered Shechem. But this night felt different to me - tonight I felt we would get our hands on him.

"We entered Shechem and arrived at a point they'd set for us, ready and determined to catch him. We've already seen Special Forces operating in the area and our job was to secure the activity. Suddenly they came up to us and announced: 'We've got Johnny.'

Nachshon Battalion fighters
Flash 90

"I was excited. I was afraid maybe a mistake had been made. I immediately asked again if he'd really been caught. In a moment I was told on the other side "positive." I rushed to report the news to every last fighter, and of course they were like me: hesitant at first with excitement, then asking twice to make sure. After a few minutes it was already clear to everyone that it was over - we've got him!

"The night for us wasn't yet over; now we had to complete the task successfully - to leave the city safely with the attacker in our hands. We started moving at dawn's first light, and when we finally got out, we felt a tremendous sense of relief.

"After unloading the vehicles, we suddenly saw the terrorist for the first time with our own eyes. We felt unmatched satisfaction, after sleepless nights, and after we'd left no stone unturned in the sector. We felt there was a good answer to the question of why we were here.

"But even after this night, we know that our work here hasn't ended. We're waiting for many more nights of hard work to protect the area residents, and to ensure that every terror operative pays the price. The attack wasn't prevented, but after a month of hard work I know that today every citizen of the country can sleep a little better at night."

Nachshon Battalion fighters rounding up suspect (illustrative)
Flash 90

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