NAME: Rota, Yaakov

LEHI ALIAS: Little Danny, Uri

DATE OF BIRTH: September 26, 1928

DATE OF DEATH: October 31, 2019

Yaakov, son of Avraham and Rivka, was born on 26.9.1928. His father came from Poland with the First Aliyah, serving in the Jewish Brigade. He helped drain the swamps for the Gan Shmuel and Hephzibah kibbutzim, and he was also among the first ten officers of the Tel Aviv Police. His mother came from Bulgaria in the Third Aliyah, and she was a homemaker caring for the three children.

Yaakov studied in the Montefiore Reali High School, and he also joined Lehi. There he filled many varied roles, which included: disseminating materials, combat, providing security for the printshop in the Sharon, etc. After some time, he was put in charge of a group of fighters in Tel Aviv, the Sharon and the south.

Once he had undergone a firearms course, he took part in many varied operations, including: breaking into the British Army base in Holon to steal weapons; blowing up warplanes at the Kfar Syrkin airfield; and breaking into the Haifa Workshops, where he was injured. It was his mission to take revenge on the Arabs who had informed the British about the firearms course in Raanana, which had resulted in the death of four young men and women and their instructor; he was also charged with taking revenge on the four British soldiers on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv over the same incident. He was also involved in numerous bank robberies: Barclays, Discount, Poalim, the postal bank, the Polish bank, and others. Yaakov was known as Uri or Little Danny.

In 1948, he enlisted in the IDF with his Lehi comrades from the combat brigade. He was assigned to the 8th Brigade’s Battalion 89, and served as a platoon commander in Company A, with the rank of lieutenant. He fought throughout Operation Danny, which included the capture of Ramleh, of Lod, of the airport there; the liberation of the Negev; and more.

After he finished his mandatory service, he continued in permanent service. He was in command and staff positions in the Armored Corps, in the Paratroopers’ Brigade, as the commander on Mt. Scopus and in the General Staff. He took many varied courses: parachuting, demolitions, infantry commanders, company commanders, command and staff, et cetera. He fought in every war of Israel, in command and staff positions. He also pursued his education and studied public management in Tel Aviv University.

In 1976, at the rank of lieutenant colonel, he was discharged. He joined the Construction and Housing Ministry, serving as the director for the establishment of Karnei Shomron and Elkana. He later served as the director of oversight and inspection for the neighborhood rehabilitation department of the Housing Ministry.

He married Hannah Aziz, and they had two children: Yossi (named after Yossi Yefet, Yaakov’s comrade at the Haifa Workshops attack who had fallen there) and Anat.