A 47-year-old police commando who additionally volunteered his time as a paramedic with Magen David Adom, was killed Friday morning, succumbing to his wounds after being struck in an exchange of gunfire with terrorists near Jenin in Samaria.
The officer, Sgt. Major Noam Raz, was a 23-year veteran of the Israeli Police Force’s elite Yamam counterterrorism unit and the father of six children. He was buried Sunday.
“Noam’s death is tragic — both for his immediate family and the family of EMTs and paramedics of which he was a member,” said Eli Bin, Magen David Adom’s director-general. “This was someone who dedicated his life to protect Israelis — people of all backgrounds — both in his daytime job as a police officer and in his volunteer work as an MDA paramedic.
“Our EMTs and paramedics form strong bonds among each other from working so closely together under trying and often dangerous conditions. His loss will be felt strongly, especially among our Jerusalem Team,” he added.
“We have lost a dear and beloved family member, an exemplary father and a man who was always kind, helping others and giving,” said Ronen Shunem Halevy, Noam’s brother-in-law and himself an MDA paramedic, speaking at Noam’s funeral. “We were both MDA paramedics and over the years he helped me a lot — professionally and personally. For him, saving lives was a routine goal and mission every day.”
“Noam was an unprecedentedly valued, gentle, and professional man,” said MDA paramedic Akiva Pollack, who worked with Noam on what would end up being Noam’s last shift as a paramedic aboard an MDA Mobile Intensive Care Unit ambulance.
“He had [a sense of] awe and a tremendous appreciation for saving lives and he sought to volunteer and help in any way possible,” Akiva added. “He was always looking for the perfect recipe for integrating all his loves into life — his family, [his professional work with Israeli] SWAT, and Magen David Adom. When Noam was with us on shift in the ambulance, we knew there was someone we could trust. We have lost a dear man and an exceptional staff member.”
His impact in the Jerusalem area cannot be overstated, said Ram Naimi, MDA’s paramedic supervisor for that region.
“Many people owe him their lives,” he said.
“Our hearts go out to his family and to all our colleagues who had the pleasure of working with Noam,” said Eli Bin.