Avner was born 1929 in Tsa’ana, Yemen. His father, Avraham Ben-Chaim, was a blacksmith, mother Yona (Chamama), a housewife. The family made aliya when Avner was one and settled in the ‘Sha’arei- Pina’ neighborhood Jerusalem. Aged sixteen he joined Lehi and was soon sent to an intensive course in a training shack, hidden within an orchard. After a few days training, a parallel course in Ra’anana was attacked by the British. Several youngsters were killed. Consequently his course was cut short.
Avner participated in many surveillance operations after wanted persons. He took part in an evening attack on a British detective known for his particular cruelty to Lehi members during interrogations. Unfortunately, the detective, seen leaving a Jaffa St. cafe in Jerusalem drunk, was only badly injured but his bodyguard was killed. Avner also took part in the night attack on the Arab village Malkha.
On December 28,1947, during pistol target practice, on the hill above ‘Matzleva Valley’ Monastary, three British and an Arab policemen sighted them and began closing in. Jewish passer-bys warned the Lehi members of the impending danger, giving ‘Amos’ (group leader) time to escape with the girl, who’d meanwhile hidden the gun. Avner and his friends were told to delay the officers but could not. They were caught and hauled to the ‘Machane-Yehuda’ Police station. A Jewish police officer stationed there, told the Arab officer who was his good friend, that one of the young detainees was his son. Too late. Interrogation had already begun; the youngsters were all jailed at the station.
That very night, 29 November, they were informed of the Declaration of Independence by the Duty Officer, and released next morning. During the War of Independence Avner served in the Intelligence Corps – Jerusalem. After the war he was a teacher. Avner married Nitzchiya Eini. They have a son and a daughter, Zohar and Nirit. Zohar, member of Kibbutz Sufa, has three children. Nirit lives in Ariel and has three sons. Since the disbanding of the Movement, Avner has participated in reunions of former Lehi members. He is retired.