Zar Patriach Has Had Brushes With Death

One of the most interesting personalities in the Havat Gilad episode is Moshe Zar, the father of Gilad, the Yesha Council's late security coordinator whose name the illegal outpost bears. Yesterday, Zar was seen wandering around the site in a blood-stained shirt, quietly mumbling, "They have destroyed the monument to Gilad."

Zar, the most well-known Jewish land trader in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and a former member of the Jewish Underground, was injured for the first time during the 1956 Sinai Campaign. He was shot in the forehead, shoulder and eye and presumed dead. A medic noticed, however, that Zar was still breathing and was taken to Beilinson Hospital where he underwent a series of operations. Zar lost his left eye as a result of his injuries.

Some 20 years ago, Zar was critically injured for a second time. He was shot and struck twice with an ax by a landowner from the village of Jinsafut, west of Nablus. Zar spent months in a hospital, hovering between life and death.

A year later, Zar was convicted of membership in the Jewish Underground and sentenced to three years in prison for his part in the assassination of Palestinian mayors. In light of his medical condition, Zar spent only a few months in jail.

Zar's wife, Yael, who also played a part in the Havat Gilad unrest, said at the time: "The underground is not a stage in the life of the Zar family, but a stage in the life of the nation."

Both Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer have been long-standing friends of Zar.

Sharon visited the Zar family following the murder of Gilad and came under harsh criticism from the family, particularly Zar's daughter, Anat, who, in the presence of television cameras called on the prime minister to "fight back."

When Ben-Eliezer decided a few weeks ago to evacuate Havat Gilad, he called Zar and informed him of his decision.