Shlomo Miller's Story

The story of Shlomo Miller (HY"D) the Security Coordinator of Itamar as told by the senior instructor of Magen Yehuda.

Israel is full of stories of Everyday Heroes; people going about their day to day life and in an instant are facing danger and adversity, and simply take action, display courage and the will for self sacrifice.  That is what we call a hero, someone that looks out for the greater good of humanity.

Here is the story of one such Hero, Shlomo Miller (HY"D) the former Security Coordinator of Itamar.

On August 13, 2004 Shlomo Miller, was murdered by a terrorist from a neighboring Arab village, Beit Forik. Approximately thirty suicide terrorists have come from that village and there is continued attempt to harm the neighboring Jewish village, of Itamar.

" The murderous attack began on Friday morning around 11:00 when a Palestinian Authority para-military police officer approached the back gate of Itamar and opened fire at two Israelis standing nearby. Unhurt, they immediately alarmed Itamar's emergency task force. The first to arrive were Shlomo Miller and another man; the terrorist saw them first, and shot several bullets into Miller. The other man went into shock, and the terrorist managed to grab Miller's M-16 rifle. In the meantime, other emergency team members had arrived, and engaged the terrorist in a battle. Though the murderer shot at them with Miller's M-16, he was soon shot dead himself. On his corpse was found a Kalachnikov rifle, cartridges and a knife." (Arutz7 Israel National News)

The following are the events as told by Amichai Cohen the commander of the local TRT (Tactical Response Team) which is named Gidonim. Amichai arrived at the scene and was fortunately able to take down the terrorist.

Mid- morning on that faithful Friday Amichai, his brother, and two friends were sitting at home. Suddenly they heard shots that sounded close to their house but not too close. The proximity could mean life threatening danger for the citizens of the village; at least that is how it sounded at that moment. Since gun shots are commonly heard in the Itamar area and the community's Tactical First Response Team needed to determine whether to go investigate or not.

Fortunately Amichai had an instinctive feeling about those shots and without further delay they immediately left the house to investigate. Listening, they soon realized that they were coming from the southern direction. They got into their cars and raced in the direction of the shots.

As they drove they tried to gather additional information on what was happening. At one point they decided to get out of the car and advance by foot. They spread out as they had been trained to do when advancing towards live fire and possible danger.

Amichi was in command and instructed the team to go forward from one place of cover to the next, as residents of Itamar they were quite familiar with the area. As they advanced forward they saw a car coming towards them. The driver, also a resident of Itamar, was panicky; he told them his car had been shot at.

Questioning him future gave them additional information as to where the shooting was coming from. They could now see the suspected area and discovered where the fighting was coming from. Even though it was a clear morning, during battle it is often difficult to figure out who was shooting at whom. They were able to identify the security car that was driven by Shlomo Miller who was in charge of the security in Itamar.

At first they thought they saw Shlomo turn around and therefore decided that it was Shlomo who was shooting the terrorist. As they were trained to do, they shouted towards the man shooting stating that they were from the security team of Itamar but when the person turn around and starting shooting at them, they realized it was actually the terrorist. Their training sessions prepared them for a day like this; they learned the importance of identifying themselves while at the same time to stay under cover. This technique helped save their lives.

Once they identified the shooter as the terrorist, Amichi and his teammates were able to return fire from their place of cover until they saw him fall. They advanced in "form" as practiced, going from one place of cover to the next, protecting each other as they got closer.

At the distance of fifteen meters from the terrorist they fired a few more shots to make sure that he was eliminated. They had called in the incident to the army which had yet to arrive at the scene of the battle. Amichi and his team then proceeded to check out the area to make sure there were no more terrorists and to take care of Shlomo Miller who had been critically wounded.

Slowly army forces began to arrive and Sholmo was taken by helicopter to the hospital. The army commander of the area arrived as well. If it had not been for the very professional fighting of Amichi and his team mates the terrorist would have entered the residential area of Itamar where he planned to kill as many people as possible. The TRT of Itamar was able to help avoid a terrible tragedy, planned by the terrorist.

Ahud Dibben, the founder and CEO of Magen Yehuda, the organization that trained the TRT of Itamar for just such an occurrence remembers the call he received from Amichi immediately after the events took place, "Amichai was understandably quite upset but he wanted to thank me for the training sessions Magen Yehuda had given his team. He explained that they were able to shoot the terrorist without suffering major losses because of the instructions they had been given and without the practice we insisted on they would have panicked instead of being able to react in a level headed coordinated effort."

There is no doubt that Sholmo would have been proud of his TRT team fighting together so bravely.

This is a story of many brave men and  heroes; Shlomo (of blessed memory) who gave his life to save others, Amichai Cohen and his TRT who put their lives on the line to protect their community by implemented the training they received from yet another hero in our story Magen Yehuda.

Shlomo Miller Thank you letter to Magen Yehuda