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April 16, 2018 10:01 am

Soldier Originally Injured in 1973 Yom Kippur War Succumbs to Wounds Prior to Israel’s Memorial Day

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Soldiers from the IDF’s Ultra orthodox unit called The Netzah Yehuda Battalion on May 19 2005. Photo: Abir Sultan / Flash90.

JNS.org – Yitzhak Dreksler, an IDF soldier seriously wounded during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, passed away on Saturday afternoon following medical complications relating directly back to the injuries he suffered in battle.

Dreksler served in the Orthodox Nahal Hareidi Battalion and in the Armored Corps during reserve service. During the war a rocket struck his tank in the Golan Heights but he escaped the burning tank, suffering severe, debilitating burns. After undergoing 70 surgeries, he was declared a disabled IDF veteran on 95 percent disability.

He went on to help found the ultra-Orthodox town of Emmanuel in Samaria and spent the last years of his life in the Orthodox town of Elad, where he dedicated his time to commemorating fallen ultra-Orthodox IDF soldiers, helping to found the Netzah Yehuda Battalion in the Kfir Brigade and advocating for ultra-Orthodox Israelis to enlist in the IDF.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman honored him in a tweet, noting that Dreksler “was a yeshiva student who left his studies and his pregnant wife and went to serve as a reserve soldier to protect the country and the nation,” adding, “I salute you.”

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Dreksler noted that ultra-Orthodox soldiers during his youth were warmly accepted by their families and communities.

He is survived by six children, including two military officers and many grandchildren.

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