NAME: Avital David

LEHI ALIAS: betzal'el


DATE OF DEATH: January 3, 2015

David was born 1932 in the Old City of Jerusalem to father Shlomo, whose family lived many generations there, and Yugoslav-born mother Sarah. David has one sister. Aged three he lost his father and grew up at his grandmother’s, starting work very young to support his family. He was a member of ‘Hano’ar-Ha’oved’, joining a  Lehi youth cell 1945, putting up info-bulletins throughout Jerusalem. He underwent a weapons training and sabotage course in the Bukharian neighbourhood, and was made responsible for a weapons storeroom in the Old City. In the midst of 1946 he was arrested by the British CID, apparently having been reported by an informer. He was held in the Old city ‘Kishleh’ prison, beaten and tortured to force his admission of belonging to the underground, but was released after a week without having  admitted a thing. Afterwards he took part in various operations including the attack on the officers’ club at King George St. Jerusalem. In 1948, with the British still in the city, while Arabs were entrenching themselves in the southern neighbourhoods, he took part in Lehi operations to blow up Arab positions and establish bases in Jerusalem, Talbiyeh, and the peripheral areas,  Sheikh Baader and lower Lifta. He also took part in the battle for taking over the Arab occupied Russian Compound grounds and Notre Dame. He was injured twice, in the battle of Deir-Yassin and in the attempt to conquer the Old City, a joint  Hagana/Lehi/Etzel operation. Following the assassination of Count Bernadotte  David was arrested with many of his comrades. When released, he enlisted in the IDF despite his injuries. Following his discharge  he partially completed his secondary education, studied sculpture and painting at ‘Betzal’el’ and continued his education in construction engineering, his profession until retirement. David married Dina Levi 1956. Their four children continue their father’s occupation with art: Momo is a painter, Icho a theatre actor, Rachel an art teacher, and Nir a television photographer. David and Dina have five grandchildren. David lives in Jerusalem, continuing his father’s family’s long tradition of residence there.