Dov Broder, may he rest in peace, fell during "Operation Medinah," which was an operation conducted by the Alexandroni Brigade on May 13, 1948, one day before the declaration of the state.
The operation was intended to capture the Arab village of Kfar Saba with the aim of stabilizing the border line in the Qalqilya district before the expected invasion of Arab states following the declaration of the state. Dov (Berla) Broder, may he rest in peace, served as a driver and scout leader during the battle, leading an intelligence reconnaissance unit. During the battle, a significant reinforcement of Arab forces arrived at the scene. Faced with the Arab force's superiority and the absence of communication between our forces, the order for retreat was given.
How was the late Dov killed?
Dov, may he rest in peace, sent his force to inform another unit about the retreat and to protect his soldiers. During the mission, Dov's armored vehicle was injured by explosives, and Dov was killed. His body was not found, and he was declared a fallen soldier whose place of burial was unknown (MIAs - Missing In Action). The MIA Search and Rescue Unit (IDF Intelligence) worked to locate him as part of the investigation in the year 1948 (5708).
Investigative operations in many channels
Information about the investigation process to locate missing persons: After the battles of May 1948 in the War of Independence, an unknown soldier from the Tashach (5708) war was buried in the Segula Cemetery in Petah Tikva. From 2006 to 2023, an investigation was conducted to locate missing persons to clarify the identity of the unknown soldier and determine whether it was Dov (Berla) Broder, z"l.
The investigation activities included: opening the grave and conducting genetic testing and anthropological characterization of the remains, engineering and ballistic research based on the battle events and their expected impact on the fallen soldier's body, collecting and examining relevant documents from state and IDF archives, interviewing witnesses from the battle, and more.
From the summary of the investigation activities, several findings emerged, based on various directions that were examined. These included anthropological findings that supported the identification of the unknown soldier as Dov Broder, may he rest in peace. The investigation also involved a thorough examination of testimonies and documents that indicated that the unknown soldier arrived at Beilinson Hospital (where the battle casualties were brought) wearing a gold ring that matched the description of Dov's widow, while he was the only missing person wearing a ring. It was confirmed that Dov, z"l, fought in the battle, was injured, and the other casualties were evacuated from the battle to the same hospital. The investigation ruled out the match with other casualties from the "Medinah" operation to the identity of the unknown soldier buried in Segula.
The unit worked for years to locate missing IDF martyrs
The investigation fully clarified the events of the entire crew of the fallen soldier, except for one unidentified body. During the investigation, a nearly complete sequence of findings was established, from the identification of Dov, z"l, as a driver in the crew, through the battle injury, evacuation to Beilinson Hospital, and up to the burial in Segula Cemetery. All of these findings allowed for the construction of an almost perfect picture of the findings, enabling the identification of the unknown soldier as Dov Broder, z"l. This marks the second time within a year that an investigation to locate missing persons has been successfully concluded.
The Missing Persons Unit (known as "Eitan") operates to locate IDF soldiers who are missing in action and in emergency situations. Among the unit's tasks is also the investigation of past events involving soldiers whose burial place is unknown, similar to this case. The investigation teams of the unit include reservists with relevant knowledge who have been working for years to try and determine the fate of missing persons and bring good news to their families.
Today (Sunday), the heads of the security establishment who are involved in the process will answer questions regarding the discovery of the grave of Dov Broder, whose headstone will be replaced from "Unknown" to his name, role, and the year of his fall in battle.