Though Rosh Ha’Ayin is not in the immediate zone of fighting, the city has already felt the war’s effects, announcing six deaths thus far.
Rosh Ha’Ayin is Birmingham’s sister city in Israel, and the Partnership2Gether city for the New Orleans Jewish community. Numerous events involving all three communities were being planned for the coming year.
The first casualty announcement from Rosh Ha’Ayin was for Itai Maor, 23, a Golani officer.
Major Peleg Salem, 30, “fell as a hero” during a shootout with five terrorists that were looking to kill families. He died at the entrance to one of the homes. He was a logistics officer who had been living in Netanya, but he was buried in Rosh Ha’Ayin, and his family still lives there.
Mayor Shalom Ben Moshe said “Rosh Ha’Ayin mourns and aches for the fall of two of her sons who fell in defense of the country in the Iron Swords war.”
Since then, the deaths of Amitai Malichai, Assaf Schlesinger and Sahar Saudain, an Iron Dome officer, were announced.
The death of a sixth resident, IDF soldier Nachman Dekel, was announced on Oct. 13. A cousin posted on X on Oct. 10 that he had likely been taken into Gaza on Saturday.
Many municipal services have been halted due to a lack of workers, and schools remain closed. Crowds over 10 people in the open and over 50 people in a building are forbidden.
The city announced that workers are raising Israeli flags throughout the city, along with United States flags, “in appreciation of the U.S. administration, to Joe Biden, the president of the United States, and to the citizens of America, for their total support of the state of Israel.”
(Updated Oct. 13, 8 a.m., with the sixth.)