To mark the 43rd anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the Defense Ministry made public Monday a recording of radio communications from a rescue operation involving Yoni Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother, and a high-ranking Israeli army officer on the Golan Heights front during the war.
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The wounded officer, Brig. Gen. Yossi Ben-Hanan, lay wounded for four hours on the battlefield before being rescued by a team headed by Netanyahu. In one conversation, the then-commander of the 7th armored brigade, Avigdor Ben-Gal, is heard reassuring Ben-Hanan, who was wounded in territory that the Israeli army captured from Syria while fighting.
Ben-Hanan later became major general, the second-highest Israeli army rank. Avigdor Ben-Gal, who went by the nickname Yanush, was credited with playing a key role in Israel's victory over Syria during the 1973 Yom Kippur war. He died in February at the age of 80.
Yoni Netanyahu volunteered to head the rescue team dispatched to extract Ben-Hanan. He is heard questioning the wounded officer in an effort to figure out the best direction from which such an operation should be undertaken, seeing as the Syrians were firing at a highway in the area.
For his role in the rescue, Netanyahu received a distinguished service medal. Ben-Hanan was given a medal of courage for his conduct in the war. While lying wounded on the battlefield, he managed to remain in command, directing where artillery fire should be directed and also guiding the rescue team that was coming to extract him from the front.
Yoni Netanyahu was a member of the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit and was killed nearly three years later in the IDF's rescue operation to free hostages from an Air France flight that had been bound for Paris from Tel Aviv when it was hijacked to Uganda.