Kidnapping and murder of Nachshon Wachsman
|Kidnapping and murder of Nachshon Wachsman|
|Kidnapping, Shooting attack|
|Deaths||2 Israeli soldiers (Nachshon Wachsman and one Matkal team member) and 3 Palestinian terrorists|
|Perpetrator||Hamas claimed responsibility|
The Kidnapping and murder of Nachshon Wachsman was an incident in which Palestinian Hamas kidnapped Israeli soldier Nachshon Wachsman from the Bnai Atarot junction in central Israel, and held him hostage for 6 days. The incident ended in a failed Israeli rescue attempt, during which Wachsman was killed by his captors. Three of his captors and an Israeli officer were also killed.
|Native name||נחשון וקסמן|
|Birth name||Nachshon Mordechai Wachsman|
October 3, 1975|
|Died||October 14, 1994
Bir Nabala, North of Jerusalem
|Years of service||August 1993 – October 14, 1994|
|Rank||Sergeant (promoted posthumously)|
|Battles/wars||Combat in the Israeli Security Zone during the South Lebanon conflict|
A dual citizen of Israel and the United States, Wachsman was raised in Jerusalem. He was the third of seven sons born to Yehuda and Esther Wachsman. His father was Israeli-born, while his mother was born in a German displaced persons camp and immigrated to Israel from Brooklyn. Wachsman volunteered for an elite commando unit of the Golani Brigade, serving in the Orev Golani.
At home on a leave, Wachsman was instructed by the military to attend a one-day training course in northern Israel. He left Saturday night after Shabbat, telling his parents he would return Sunday night, October 9, 1994. He was last seen by a friend who reported that, after completing the training, Wachsman had been dropped off at the Bnai Atarot junction, a highly populated area in central Israel, where he could either catch a bus or hitchhike, a common practice of Israeli soldiers, to Jerusalem.
On October 11, 1994, a videotape was broadcast showing Wachsman, with his hands and feet bound, before a keffiyeh-covered militant who was displaying Wachsman's identity card. After the militant recited the hostage's home address and identity number, Wachsman spoke, with the armed militant behind him, saying:
"The group from Hamas kidnapped me. They are demanding the release of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and another 200 from Israeli prison. If their demands are not met, they will execute me on Friday at 8 P.M."
On October 14, 1994, with 24 hours until the ultimatum, prayer vigils were held in many places. Over 100,000 people representing all religious, political, and social segments of the Israeli population gathered at the Western Wall. Responding to a request by Esther Wachsman, Nachshon’s mother, many women lit an extra Sabbath candle for her son.
In the meantime, the Israeli military had captured Jihad Yarmur, the driver of the car that had picked up Wachsman. Interrogating Yarmur, they learned that Wachsman was being held in the village of Bir Nabala, a location under Israeli control located only ten minutes away from Wachsman's home in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem. Prime Minister Rabin authorized a military rescue attempt.
On Friday October 14 Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Yasser Arafat announced that they had won the Nobel Peace Prize. When Peres was asked his opinion on the "peace" that he had achieved in Oslo in light of Hamas' impending deadline, he responded that the peace process involves "calculated risks."
At 20:00 that night, at the hour of the ultimatum, the operation was carried out by Sayeret Matkal – an elite IDF commando unit. It was thought that Wachsman was being held behind an iron door, but in fact it was a solid steel door. As the commando team attempted to gain entry, it came under heavy fire by the group holding Wachsman hostage. Sayeret Matkal team commander Nir Poraz was killed, and ten Israeli soldiers were wounded. The entry team returned fire, killing the three gunmen guarding Wachsman. Eventually the team was able to break through the door and enter the room, but they were too late, as Wachsman had already been executed by his captors. The Wachsman family was informed of his death personally by General Yoram Yair.
Wachsman's Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Mordechai Elon, gave his eulogy. At the request of Wachsman's bereaved father, the rabbi told the crowd of mourners that God did listen to their prayers, and that just as a father would always like to say "yes" to all of his children's requests, sometimes he must say "no" though the child might not understand why. "So too our Father in Heaven heard our prayers, and though we don't understand why, His answer was 'no.'"
Driver convicted and imprisoned; released in Shalit exchange
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- His Name was Nachshon Wachsman OU.org
- "Reflections: The Wachsman Kidnapping – Inside Israel". Arutz Sheva. October 13, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Jerusalem Post, IDF launches campaign against hitchhiking, June 5, 2012.
- "Nachshon Wachsman". Ynetnews.com. October 9, 1994. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Hamas' True Terrorist Leader FrontPage Magazine, March 29, 2004
- "No strength for silence". jewishledger.com. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- Matthew Levitt. Negotiating Under Fire: Preserving Peace Talks in the Face of Terror Attacks. Retrieved June 23, 2014.
- 1995 April: Patterns of global terrorism, 1994 US Department of State
- Lappin, Yaakov (October 13, 2011). "Planners of Park Hotel bombing attack ‘set to go free'". Jerusalem Post.
- Kidnapping of Soldier Leads Israel to Halt P.L.O. Talks – published on the New York Times on October 12, 1994
- Mrs. Esther Wachhsman, mother of kidnapped soldier, recalls events of her son's kidnapping – published on ShalomTV
- Israel Holding Arafat Accountable For The Fate Of Kidnapped Soldier – published on the Milwaukee Journal on October 11, 1994
- US Is Pressing Arafat Over Kidnapped Israeli Soldier – published on the New York Times on October 14, 1994
- Israeli hostage slain during rescue attempt 3 Hamas captors, 1 soldier killed in firefight – published on the Boston Herald on October 15, 1994