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OFFICIAL MEDAL 2007/5767
Fourth in the Series of Medals honoring the Fighting Units of the Israel Defense Forces
The roots of the Paratroopers Brigade go back to World War II. About 240 volunteers from the pre-State Jewish settlements in Eretz Israel were trained by the British army to operate in occupied Europe to try to rescue Jews from the clutches of the Nazis. Hanna Senesh (Szenes) was one of 7 paratroopers who did not return from this mission. The Paratroopers Brigade in the IDF was established in June 1948, during the War of Independence. The first operational combat parachute drop was the jump to the Mitle Pass during the 1956 Sinai Campaign, during which the Paratroopers captured the Suez Canal. The first commander of the Paratroopers Brigade was Ariel Sharon.
Established as an elite infantry force, the Paratroopers have a history of carrying out special forces-style missions. In the Six Day War (1967) the Paratroopers fought on three fronts. Mordechai (Mota) Gur commanded the unit that liberated the Old City of Jerusalem; troops under the command of Raphael Eitan captured the Gaza Strip and were the first to reach the Suez Canal; and Dani Matt’s paratroopers captured the Golan Heights on the last day of the war. In 1976 they were part of the unit that rescued hijacked passengers in Entebbe, Uganda in a daring raid on the Entebbe Airport. In recent years they have been involved primarily in counter terror operations within the West Bank.
We are grateful to Eitan Senesh and the Manor Family for permission to use these words on the medal.
On the medal face are the Paratroopers wings insignia on a red background, above them the Brigade’s traditional slogan “Follow Me”. On the bottom are words from a poem by Hanna Senesh which reflect the Paratroopers sense of mission: “The voice called, and I went, I went, because the voice called.”
On the reverse, the snake emblem of the Brigade, airplanes from which “drop” the words of the Paratroopers Hymn by Ehud Manor.
Issue Price $
Pure Silver with color
Pure Silver with color in pack
Bronze with color
Bronze with color in pack
Bronze with color
Set of the 3 medals above (14k Gold medal, Pure Silver medal without the pack and Bronze 76.2 mm medal)
* Quantity of pure silver Medal: 360.
** Distribution continues, quantity not yet determined.
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