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The First Tank that Reached Kibbutz Be’eri

"My tank was the first to reach Be’eri," recounts Major General Nissim Hazan, who joined Duvdevan's unit on the day of the fighting in Kibbutz Be’eri. Nissim, commander of the 2nd Armored Brigade, arrived just like a young armored corps man to assist the fighting forces of the kibbutz in eradicating the terrorists. He positioned his tank in front of the kibbutz's youth quarters and instructed the fighting teams on how to advance, covering them as they went from house to house looking for survivors.

"I saw in front of my eyes two rows of long blocks of houses," Nissim repeated, "in each row several rooms. I realized that in the last room of the first row a kibbutz member was waiting for us." Nissim and the Duvdevan team by his side went through the row of rooms thoroughly and calmly. They searched room by room, without giving up finding the hiding kibbutz member and knowing the terrorists were waiting for them too. "In the last room I heard the voice of the survivor; she shouts that she can't open the door of the room," said Nissim.

A particularly original idea flashed into his mind: he advanced with the cannon of the powerful tank right up to the entrance of the door that refused to open and pushed the door with the cannon until it broke open. The fighting forces rescued the frightened survivor, and she left her room straight to Nissim's tank and from there to a safe place.

Nissim and the fighting teams continued in this way, going from room to room, not giving up on anyone. Suddenly they spotted terrorists hiding in one of the rooms further down the block. Instead of risking the lives of the fighters, who were waiting ready to attack in a shootout against the terrorists, Nissim got off the tank and climbed onto a huge D9 bulldozer he found nearby that almost appeared to be waiting just for him; Nissim started banging on the walls of the building where the terrorists were hiding until they came out in a state of panic right into the hands of the Duvdevan fighters, who killed them immediately.

Nissim, the Duvdevan unit and a bulldozer were the saviors of Kibbutz Be’eri in the most difficult moments of the crisis.


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