THE END OF THE LINE - THE STORY OF YARON
Roi from the Golani patrol:
Friday, eve of the war. Yaron is with me. We're preparing to go to Jerusalem for Goni's release party. Instead, we're rushed off to the unit. This is the heaven-knows-which emergency situation and Yaron says with great cynicism and also a degree of seriousness that war is preferable so we'll get rid of the repeated tension and fear which reappear every time there's a state of preparedness. 36 hours later and we're crossing the Akiya bridge in Lebanon on the way to Beaufort. Yaron, who is in the bowels of the armored troop vehicle, in charge of the communications system, reminds us that he too wants to see the landscape and we let him do so from time to time. When we get near Beaufort I join Yaron in the vehicle. Yaron keeps trying to find out what's going on, who's firing on whom. No nervousness, simply wants to know what's happening. Ten minutes later, when the force is moving on foot, Yaron is hit and killed on the spot. Death comes at once so quickly that there's no chance to say: just a minute, I'm sorry... I don't want... Yaron be careful! ...Yaron. So out of character for Yaron who always wanted to know what's going to be, and only calmed down and restored to tranquility when everything was ready and organized. Perhaps when it happened he was calm? At the moment I didn't feel sorrow, perhaps because of the fear and the shock. In the course of time I feel the sorrow and the more the shock passes, the more the grief grows.
Yaron came back and worked along with Yom-Tov the whole night to prepare communications equipment. Yaron was appointed Kaplinski's communications operator. When they arrived at the Beaufort area towards evening, fire was opened on them from the direction of the Arnon village. It was Yaron who informed him on the radio that Kaplinski had been wounded. Moti noted that he was very surprised and impressed that even under fire for the first time, Yaron continued to keep calm, to maintain his sense of humor and his everyday tone of voice. In general, in these conditions nearly all the soldiers shrink into themselves and act like robots.
Goni replaced Kaplinski and Yaron was appointed to be Moti's communication operator. It was decided to take the Beaufort on foot and the unit was divided into three sections. Moti ran with 21 soldiers along the road. Everything was in order as long as they were protected by the topography.
When Moti crossed the open area at a bend in the road, he found that only 9 soldiers arrived with him. Yosi and Yaron were killed at this stage. Moshe was wounded.
Moti continued the battle in the trenches. Raz, Avikam, Gil and Goni were killed. The commander of the operation contacted Moti and asked him to care for the casualties and return. It was decided to continue only next morning.
After evacuating the casualties, before first light, one crew climbed onto the roof of the fortress and two others cleared the trenches. After the event, it transpired that the few terrorists who remained exploited the nocturnal break and escaped from the fortress.
The force was reorganized, but there was no sight of any icy of conquest. The feeling was unbearable. The price was too heavy.