Update, Dec. 3, 2007: IDF announces arrest of suspects in Zoldan killing (See at end)

Ido Zoldan, 29, a resident of the Jewish town of Shavei Shomron in the disputed West Bank (Samaria), died Monday, Nov. 19, after being shot four times by Palestinian gunmen. Zoldan was driving home from an evening studying Jewish texts at a friend’s house.

Zoldan had postponed army service to study at a yeshiva in the Judean Hills community of Beit El but later became an officer in an elite Israel Defense Forces unit and served in the assault of Jenin in 2002 during the Palestinian intifada.

Amatzia Haeytan, Zoldan’s brother-in-law, told a newspaper Zoldan taught his fellow soldiers, most of whom were secular, the words to a song based on a verse from the book of Judges that tells how Samson, blinded and on the verge of despair, begs God to grant him one last victory against the Philistines.

“Everybody was really nervous before the battle,” Haeytan said. “But Ido broke the ice. He began singing, ‘O Lord God remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me only this once, O God, that I be avenged on the Philistines for one of my two eyes.’ The entire unit went into Jenin singing that song.”

After their marriage four years ago, Zoldan and his wife, Tehila, moved to the town of Homesh, which was being abandoned by its primarily secular residents in the face of the upcoming disengagement plan. Eventually, the town was evacuated in 2005, and Zoldan and his family relocated to nearby Shavei Shomron with others who had been evacuated from their West Bank homes. Zoldan was part of a group seeking to reestablish Homesh, but that effort was shut down by the Israeli Army.

He is survived by his wife, and two children, Aharon, 3, and Rachel, 1, as well as his parents, three brothers, twin sisters, and grandfather. His funeral was held in the synagogue where he and his wife were married four years ago.

Send your thoughts, memories or comments on Ido Zoldan directly to In My Heart, or post in the comments section below.

Released for publication Dec. 3: On Nov. 20, IDF forces arrested two suspects in the village of Kadum, near the attack. The two arrested were Dafar Baram, a member of Fatah, and a member of the Palestinian national security forces in Ramallah and Abdullah Baram, both 22, Kadum residents.

The IDF said the two “admitted during questioning” they carried out the attack and handed over the weapons that they used.

The IDF said: “They also revealed that they had waited at the side of the road for a passing vehicle. When they had identified a passing Israeli vehicle, they gave chase, overtook it and opened fire on it. After the attack they escaped to their village.”

Fadi Jama, who also served in the Palestinian national security forces, was also involved in the attack, the IDF said. He was recently arrested by Palestinian security forces.