Yitzhak Cohen

Ben Yitzhak and Leah were members of the the settlers of the Kinneret colony. He was born in 1914 in Yavneel. He was one of the first sons of the Jordan Valley bloc. He attended the elementary school in Kinneret and Yavneel and graduated in Tiberias. As a child he was interested in mechanical and electrical machines. In later life he invented complex farm tools.

When he needed a house for his wife and two sons, he built his own and farm buildings on the Sea of ​​Galilee.

When he was 15, he took his turn to guard the Moshav. During the riots of 1919 he was responsible for the weapons.

At 19 he went to work in Tel Aviv but could not adapt to city life and returned to work on the farm.

During the riots of 1943, he was a commander in in the defense of Hanita.

Later he was torn between kibbutz life and the private sector. He returned to Galilee and later Ein Gev. After the foundation of the Palmach he left home and joined his friend Yigal Alon to form the new Hebrew force.

When Syria threaten invasion, he participated in the fortification of the northern borders. When the Negev was similarly threatened, he rushed to defend it. In his dealings with the Arabs, who respected him for his wisdom and heroism and sought his advice in their affairs, he purchased from them over the years weapons for the defence and also help them.

In the winter of 1948, he took part in operations in the Galilee. He went to the aid of the bombed and besieged Gesher kibbutz and help defend it and later in the negotiations for a cease fire, with Abdullah’s fighters.

The day after the declaration of the state, he joined the Palmach and immediately had his work cut out in defending the Jordan Valley from the Syrian invaders. The unit, which was under his command, managed to capture the Tzemach police station twice and then joined the defenders of Degania.

He prevented defended his territory and encouraged his ad hoc bad of fighters saying, ‘Many who fall among the fugitives than among those standing in battle, only once a man dies, but our homeland must live’ he called the. His eyebrows were scorched by a bullet while patrolling Hanita and in a battle. Later despite being badly wounded in the forehead by shrapnel, he continued to command, fight and demanded caution from others and he himself walked upright to see for himself and give confidence to others. He was hit by an enemy bullet and fell in the battle on the 20 May 1948.

The next day he was laid to rest in the Kinneret Cemetery. The Jordan Valley farms issued pamphlets in his memory. After his fall, he was promoted to the rank of major by order of the General Staff. Yigal Alon payed tribute to him in his eulogy.