NAME: Shalom Binyamin


DATE OF BIRTH: May 23, 1924

DATE FALLEN: July 25, 1948

Binyamin was born in Jerusalem’s Old City on May 23,1924 to Yosef and Rachel. Like many other families from there, Binyamin’s left for the new neighborhoods in the western part of the city, to Mahane Yehuda. He completed his studies in the Doresh Zion School, and he engaged in manual labor as a framer. In the meantime, he continued to study.

Binyamin did not isolate himself. As the fight against the British intensified, he saw it incumbent upon himself to take an active role in removing the foreign occupier from the Land of Israel. He joined Lehi, which he saw as having been engaged in this battle for years already. He chose the nom de guerre Michael, and he was known as a daring and beloved figure, but he never sought glory.

As part of Lehi’s combat division, he attacked British armored vehicles located at the entrance to Jerusalem, engaging in battle at Lifta, repeatedly at Katamon, and in other Lehi operations throughout Jerusalem.

When the British left and the Mandate ended, Binyamin was part of the storming of the Old City walls on May 14-15,1948. He was seriously injured and lost an eye. He kept on fighting nevertheless, and two months later, on July 10,1948 he was part of the assault on the Tin Shack at Beit Mazmil (now Kiryat Yovel). In this offensive, five Lehi fighters were killed, including the commander of the daring operation, Uzi the Ginger, Dov Berman. After this battle, his commanders decided that he could no longer serve on the frontlines, due to his disability. Instead, he was put in charge of the armory at Lehi’s Camp Dror in Talbiyeh.

One tragedy followed another; two weeks after Lehi lost five fighters at Beit Mazmil, they lost five more at Camp Dror. There are many theories and rumors, but we will never know why the armory blew up on July 25,1948. No one survived the incident, Michael being among the fallen. He was first buried in Sanhedria, but on November 8,1951 he was re-interred at Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery.