Grave of Emanuel Moreno
Grave of Emanuel MorenoFlash 90

In a first, the voice of the slain Lieutenant Colonel Emanuel Moreno will be heard at a memorial for "Israel's top soldier".

Moreno is considered one of Israel's most daring soldiers and commanded a highly classified squadron in the Sayeret Matkal special operations unit. 12 years after his death in the course of a daring raid against Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War, Moreno's picture cannot be published due to the secrecy of the missions he was involved in.

However, Israel Hayom reports that the crowd attending a memorial for the fallen soldier at Har Herzl military cemetery will hear a recorded speech Moreno gave when receiving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2005.

The ceremony took place shortly after the Gaza disengagement, and Moreno decided to utilize the platform he was given at the ceremony to speak to the high ranking officers in order to describe the difficult period he was going through. Moreno had been vehemently against the move expelling 9,000 Israelis from Gaza and had volunteered to assist the families after the evacuation.

Having had immigrated to Israel from France as a youngster with his parents and siblings, Moreno graduated the Eli pre-military yeshiva and drafted into the Sayeret Matkal in 1990, rising through the ranks to become a Lieutenant Colonel. IDF Military Intelligence Commander Herzi Halevi once called him "the best soldier in the world", saying that "if the IDF is the best military in the world, and Sayeret Matkal is the best unit in the IDF, and Emmanuel is the best soldier in the unit, then Emmanuel is the best soldier in the world.”

Moreno was killed during the Second Lebanon War when his squad was ambushed by Hezbollah deep behind enemy lines after his cover was blown, leaving behind a wife and three children. The unprecedented prohibition by the IDF censor for his photo to be published has caused curiosity about him to abound throughout Israel ever since.