Pinhas "Pinki" Zuartz
Pinhas "Pinki" ZuartzYouTube

Reserve Colonel Pinhas ("Pinki") Zuartz, who also served as the head of the Binyamina-Givat Ada Regional Council, died suddenly on Saturday night of cardiac arrest during a trip to Vietnam.

He was 52 years old.

Israel's Foreign Ministry's Department for Israelis Abroad and the Israeli Embassy in Vietnam are working to help the family bring Zuartz's body back to Israel.

Zuartz was an IDF commander admired for his courage. In the summer of 2004, Zuartz was injured by an explosive during an operation near the Gush Katif town of Morag, and his foot was severed.

Afterwards, Zuartz had to deal with a female soldier who claimed he sexually harassed her during the time she served in his unit. Then-IDF Planning Department Head Major-General Ido Nehushtan acquitted him completely, after becoming convinced there was no cause justifying bringing Zuartz to court.

After his rehabilitation, Zuartz returned to active service, teaching a commanders' course. In 2011, he left Israel with his family and became an Israeli emissary to New Jersey.

Two years later, he returned to Israel and was chosen to head the Binyamina-Givat Ada Regional Council.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) eulogized Zuartz on Facebook, writing, "I heard with great sorrow about the death of Reserve Colonel Pinhas (Pinki) Zuartz, a fighter and commander... Zuartz paid a heavy price for his service in Gaza, when he was injured and lost his foot. Then he showed everyone what true determination is, by returning to active service. I mourn together with the family. May Pinki's memory be a blessing."