Mother of Soldier Killed in Gaza Fighting in 2002 Hopes Stolen Laptop and Photos Turn Up

The mother of a soldier killed in Gaza seven years ago is hoping police will be able to retrieve pictures of her son and eulogies written about him, which were saved on a laptop computer stolen in a mugging in the Golan town of Katzrin two weeks ago.

"I've already recovered from the blow I got and from the affront over the assault and the mugging," said Yardena Lavie of Katzrin. "I just ask that they return my computer, where I have files with memories from my son, Ron."

Lavie was mugged as she left the lotto stand she runs in Katzrin's commercial center two weeks ago. The masked mugger stole her bag - containing about NIS 18,000 to NIS 20,000, along with checks, credit cards and her laptop - as she was about to put it in the trunk of her car. He struck her in the head when she resisted and grabbed the bag.

Lavie, who said the current fighting in the Gaza Strip has made "the memories flood in," used to look at the photos and other mementos of her son on the computer during the day.

Ron Lavie, a 20-year-old staff sergeant, was one of three soldiers killed when a 50-kilogram mine exploded under the Israel Defense Forces tank he was driving in the Gaza Strip in February 2002.

"The computer was with me all day at the stand," said Yardena Lavie. "And when I would miss Ron, I would open it up and look at the pictures, poems and eulogies that were written about him."