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IDF Officer Killed in Lebanon During Assault on Terrorists

January 23, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A ranking Israel Defense Force officer was killed in the southern Lebanon security zone Sunday afternoon while leading an assault on a terrorist gang.

Col. Yitzhak Rahimov, 39, was the fifth senior IDF officer killed in action in Lebanon during the past five years.

He was buried at the Holon military cemetery Monday.

Rahimov commanded the IDF liaison unit with the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army and was in charge of its training program.

The IDF and the largely Christian SLA jointly police the security zone. On Sunday, they became involved in an operation against a heavily armed terrorist gang hiding in an isolated hilltop building near the Shi’ite village of Yaroun.

The terrorists had been reported earlier seeking food in the village. Dressed in green uniforms, they were armed with Kalachnikov assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and hand grenades.

IDF and SLA troops surrounded the building but refrained from attacking until it was determined that the terrorists had no hostages. They were acting on orders from Maj. Gen. Yossi Peled, head of the IDF Northern Command.

As Israeli tanks moved up, Col. Rahimov approached them and was shot in the head by a gunman from the building. He died almost instantly, IDF sources said.

The joint IDF-SLA force pounded the building with tank and automatic fire for several hours into the night.

A search after dawn yielded the bodies of three gunmen. A fourth found hiding less than 200 yards away was killed in a brief exchange of fire. There were no further IDF or SLA casualties.

The Abu Nidal terrorist gang, a dissident faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization, claimed in Sidon on Monday that its forces had engaged in “battle against Israel.”

IDF sources said Rahimov behaved in the IDF tradition, leading his men instead of issuing orders from the rear.

The colonel, a graduate of Tel Aviv University, was married and the father of three children. He lived with his family at Kibbutz Merom Golan on the Golan Heights.

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