Reuven Israel, son of Willy and Erica, was born in Germany on May 3rd 1932. In 1933, after the Nazis came to power, the family left Germany and moved to Brno in Czechoslovakia. In 1935, Willy, Erica, Reuven and his brother Haim made aliya to Israel. They settled in Binyamina, where they founded Cafe Carmel. Reuven joined Lehi when he wasf 15 and a half years old following his friend Ya’akov Michaeli “Yigal”. He participated in operations such as: the large train explosion, the explosion of the Ali Beck building near Pardes Hanna, and night patrols in Binyamina.
Cafe Carmel, run by the family, was a well-known café in the Binyamina area during the Mandate. Reuven’s mother would distract the British officers, while in the backyard Reuven and his fellow Lehi cell members met. In April 1948, Reuven and other Lehi members from the Binyamina area gathered near Kibutz Ma’apilim to wait for the order of enlistment to the IDF. On May 29, 1948, Reuven participated in the fighters gathering at Sheih Munis (today Ramat Aviv) and enlisted in the 8th Brigade, Battalion 89, Company A. The company commander was Ya’akov Grenk “Dov”.
During the operation to capture Beit Nabala, Reuven was hit by a bullet near his belt. He participated in operations to capture villages in the south: Jatt, Beit Guvrin, Al-Manshiyya, Tegart Fort, Hatta and Karatiyya. During the battle of Auja al-Hafir, Reuven bandaged the wounded, among them his friend, Yaakov Michaeli “Yigal” and Yehuda Gafni, who was seriously injured. He treated them until they were evacuated to a hospital in Be’er-sheva. Reuven participated in all the wars. During the Yom Kippur War he served as a volunteer in the Golan Heights.
On August 25, 1975, Reuven was hit by a truck and was killed at the age of 43. Reuven was laid to rest at Hof HaCarmel Cemetery in Haifa.