Major Benaya Sarel


Benaya Sarel was a native of Kiryat Arba, the close-by sister city of Hebron. He was one of the many soldiers killed defending Israel against the missile attacks from Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. His unit was ambushed during what was supposed to be a ceasefire with Hamas, killing him along with Second Lt. Hadar Goldin of Kfar Saba, and Staff Sgt. Liel Gidoni of Jerusalem. He was scheduled to me married that week.
An August 21, 2014 article in the Times of Israel stated, "Following his death, Sarel’s friends contacted Carmei Ha’Ir, a non-profit organization that helps those unable to provide for themselves, and offered to donate all the gifts that they were going to give to the couple to the organization instead. In addition, the group arranged to have a “wedding feast” for needy people at the headquarters of the Jerusalem-based organization that provides a daily free dinner for those who are unable to feed themselves. The tables in the dining room were laid out with a festive spread and a poster explained that the meal was in honor of a fallen IDF soldier in place of his wedding banquet. 'On a day that joy turned to sorrow. The sound of cheering turned to grief', the poster read. In this act of kindness find comfort."
Earlier this year, local high school students from Kirayt Arba and Hebron have formed what they called Sayeret Benaya, or "Benaya Patrol" named for Benaya Sarel. While soldiers stationed in the Hebron and Kiryat Arba area are on patrol against terrorists, the teenagers are on patrol delivering drinks and snacks to them. Members of the general public have joined the Benaya Patrol as well.
The project builds a relationship between high school students who will soon be inducted into army service and active duty soldiers.