ZAKA inaugurates a rapid response motorcycle in memory of Amit Ben Yigal

June 12, 2020 by Lydia Weitzman
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In an emotional ceremony held yesterday in Jerusalem, ZAKA Search and Rescue inaugurated a ZAKA Rapid Response motorcycle in memory of slain IDF soldier First Sgt. Amit Ben Yigal, thirty days after his murder.


Amit Ben Yigal’s mother Nava addresses the ceremony with his father Baruch by her side

Amit’s father Baruch has a close relationship with Maccabi Australia through Maccabiahs since 1997 with Amit involving himself too.

21-yr-old Amit was killed last month when a stone block was hurled at his head during a night-time arrest operation in a West Bank village.

The response motorcycle named after Amit

The fully-equipped motorcycle, which was donated by ZAKA supporters around the world including Australia, USA, UK and Europe, will join the Jerusalem ZAKA unit, offering a rapid response to any life-saving emergency scenario.

Attending the ceremony, which was also live-streamed on Zoom, were Minister Tzahi Hanegbi,  ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Elisha Peleg, bereaved parents Baruch and Nava Ben Yigal, family members and ZAKA volunteers.

Amit’s parents Nava and Baruch with Yehuda Meshi-Zahav

ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, speaking at the ceremony, noted that “Amit was an only child not just to his parents but to all the people of Israel. We all felt an immediate connection to you. When I came to offer my condolences to you during the shiva, I saw so many people from all over the country, everyone felt as one family and everyone wanted to honour his memory. I felt that we too in ZAKA must honour his memory. Amit always made sure to help others, and therefore we purchased this motorcycle, equipped with the most advanced life-saving medical equipment, in his memory and to commemorate Amit.”

Minister Tzahi Hanegbi said that “Amit was a powerful figure of a hero and a leader. Always encouraging and motivating his fellow combat soldiers, he was an exemplary soldier. All the people of Israel owe him our gratitude. This connection with ZAKA is so fitting, the volunteers who work to save lives and honour the dead, and they are particularly involved in connecting all segments of our people. And, of course, the welcome initiative of providing a motorbike that will save lives and deal with acts of true kindness. On behalf of the government, I want to comfort his dear family and express our pain and our prayers that you will find strength. May the Amit’s memory be for a blessing.”

In response, Baruch Ben Yigal, the bereaved father of Amit: “This is a very special moment for me. Jerusalem is not any city, this is “the” city. Amit was very connected to Jerusalem, he volunteered here and now this motorcycle, in his memory, will operate in the capital. I congratulate and thank ZAKA for this wonderful initiative. I hope that this motorcycle will only be used for births and not for tragedies.”

The ceremony, which included a musical interlude with Yishai Lapidot, ended with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting by Amit’s parents, who also received a photo of the motorcycle from ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav.

IDF soldier Yigal Ben Amit. (Courtesy)

The campaign to raise the required $36,000 for the fully-equipped motorcycle is still short of its target. Donations can be made here.


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