Nava Barak
Nava BarakMoshe Milner, GPO

Nava Barak, ex-wife of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak, recalled one of the most significant moments of her ex-husband's military service in the IDF's General Staff.

"In the year 1976, during Operation Entebbe, Ehud and I, and our two daughters, lived in the apartment above Yoni Netanyahu and his partner Bruria. Our relationship was that of close friends. Yoni was the commander of the forces of the General Staff on the ground, and Ehud, as a colonel and a commander in the Staff, was sent to Nairobi to prepare the operation," Nava told Yediot Aharonot.

At 5:00a.m. on the morning following the operation, of which Nava was unaware, she received a phone call.

"On the line was Ehud, who in a cracked voice told me that the operation to save the people kidnapped in Entebbe had succeeded, but Yoni our friend, the commander, was killed. I was shocked and a moment afterwards, he also gave me a task: To go down to Bruria's apartment and to inform her of the death of her beloved, before the news reached her in another way."

"I was frozen for several minutes. I left the girls sleeping, and I went down to her apartment. The meeting between us was difficult. I tried to tell her that Yoni had been injured, but she very quickly understood, and so we remained in an embrace for several long minutes. That moment, of the meeting between us, has remained etched in my memory as one of the most painful and difficult moments that I experienced as a young woman."

When asked what her greatest fear today is, Nava answered: "You're asking someone whose entire life she's been living in fear. My former husband, who was a combat officer in a commando unit, went on operations beyond the border, and for years I worried about his welfare."

"During the time we were in America with a three-year-old girl for an academic period, the Yom Kippur War broke out. Ehud returned to Israel as a battalion commander in Sinai, and the fear and apprehension did not leave me during the day or during the night, until after three weeks I received a phone call from him from near the battleground in Sinai. Today, I worry about the health of my grandchildren and daughters, and I pray that it will only be good."

Nava and Ehud Barak in 2001 Amos Ben Gershom, GPO