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Israel identifies remains of soldier slain in Independence War

Dov Broder's 95-year-old widow was just informed by IDF Personnel Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Yaniv Asor.

Dov Broder and his wife, Batya, circa 1947. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
Dov Broder and his wife, Batya, circa 1947. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit.

Israeli authorities have identified the remains of Dov Broder, who was killed in action during the War of Independence 75 years ago, the military announced on Sunday.

In 2006, the IDF’s Missing Persons Unit began an investigation to identify the remains buried at an anonymous gravesite in the Segula Cemetery in Petach Tikvah.

The probe included a meticulous examination of documents and testimonies from the period, questioning witnesses from the battle and examining records from the evacuation of casualties to Beilinson Hospital.

The investigation determined that Broder died on May 13, 1948, during Operation Medina, in which the Alexandroni Brigade launched an offensive to capture Kfar Saba. Broder, an armored vehicle driver, was sent to battle to provide cover for another force, but his unit was attacked. He was killed and his body was not identified until now.

As such, he was recognized as a fallen soldier whose remains were missing. In all, 29 soldiers were killed in the battle, and the village was captured by Israeli forces.

Broder’s family, including his 95-year-old widow, Batya, met on Saturday night with IDF Personnel Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Yaniv Asor, who informed them that Dov’s body was identified.

Broder was born in Vilna, Lithuania (then Poland) in 1927 and immigrated to British-controlled Mandatory Palestine when he was seven years old.

A ceremony will be held soon to lay a new tombstone for Broder at the grave in Petach Tikvah that for more than seven decades had been labeled as “anonymous.”

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