NAME: Shovali, Saadia



DATE FALLEN: November 9,1948

Saadia was born on 1930 in Tel Aviv’s Kerem HaTeimanim to Shimon and Leah Shovali. He attended Talmud Torah Teimanim for kindergarten and elementary school. He was a diligent student, and he yearend to acquire more knowledge. He wanted to go to high school, but his family’s precarious financial situation forced him to leave after ten months. He became a courier for the Tel Aviv Municipality, while taking night classes in the commercial school. His fondest wish was to become a teacher, and he expressed his dream thusly: “Then I will know how the power of the written word may penetrate to the very heart of my students!”

This dream went unfulfilled. The underground war against the British was raging. Saadia was confronted by the question of what his priority should be. Should he pursue higher education, or join the struggle against the foreign occupier to liberate the homeland? Without hesitation, he chose the latter, joining Lehi in 1945, at age fifteen. For a while he was able to deceive his parents and hide his activities. However, they eventually learned his secret and tried to persuade him to quit. He determinedly refused to do so, continuing his activities.

As with the other youths, the tasks he was given were disseminating promotional materials, surveillance and firearms training. After some time, they let him participate in combat operations and recruitment. Once he was captured by a British officer, but he was released because he was so young.

When the State was established, he joined the IDF along with his Lehi comrades. He served in Company C of the 8th Brigade’s Battalion 82, under Yitzhak Sadeh. He fought in all of the brigade’s battles, from the capture of Lod Airport to Yahudiyeh to Der Tarif to Qula to Iraq al-Menashiya and Beersheba. On November 9,1948 after the fort at Iraq Suwaydan (Negba Police Station) had been captured, his unit advanced towards the Arab village beyond the fort. His halftrack was hit by enemy artillery, and Saadia was killed at his post, manning the machine gun.

He was buried the next day in the Kfar Warburg Military Cemetery.