A 20-year-old volunteer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) who grew up near Hollywood has been awarded the Chief of Staff Citation for bravery in last summer’s war in Gaza after he killed four Palestinian terrorists in combat.
Sgt. Sahar Elbaz, whose family is Israel but was born in the U.S., was ordered to take cover under fire but stood his ground instead, fixing a jammed weapon and firing as a group of terrorists charged with rifles and grenades, according to Yediot Ahronot.
Several members of Sahar’s family have also served in the IDF, male and female. Sahar served in the “lone soldier” program, which welcomes volunteers from abroad who may have no immediate family supporting them in Israel.
Nearly half of the over 2,000 Palestinians killed in the Gaza war–which Hamas started–were terrorist combatants. In addition to firefights and booby traps, combat soldiers on the Israeli side faced the additional challenge of avoiding being kidnapped.