Fire at the entrance to Nataf
Fire at the entrance to NatafYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Amidst the numerous arson attacks that caused great damage from November 22 to November 27, 2016, there were also stories of heroism that went untold.

One of those stories is that of Commander Rafael Hamra, a commander in Battalion 202 of the Paratroopers Brigade. At that time, his battalion was stationed in the Binyamin region, and he was responsible for the Ramallah area.

Throughout the entire period, characterized by many alerts over arson attempts perpetrated by terrorists in the area, each alert was assessed and dealt with in depth. After every alert, an emergency squad rushed to the warning area in an attempt to prevent the arson and catch the perpetrating terrorist.

During one of those alerts, Hamra, together with his team, rushed to the scene of the arson attempt. They identified a suspect as he tried to set fire to a number of wooden planks. Hamra jumped out of the vehicle and began to run towards the terrorist. He grabbed the terrorist's arm and took the lighter from him, then handcuffed him and took him to the nearest army post for further questioning about his motives and to ascertain whether he had acted independently.

Hamra related: "When we arrived at the scene of the incident, we waited a few minutes to see what the suspect was doing. The moment we saw him trying to set a fire near a community, we began operational activity to thwart the attempt. We acted swiftly and quietly to restore security to the residents of the area."

Hamra wished new recruits to the brigade good luck: "I would like to wish the new recruits success, and welcome. May you succeed and use your skills to their fullest potential on the new and meaningful road that winds before you."