Dec 28, 2007 - Cpl. Ahikam Amihai, 20, of Kiryat Arba, was one of two Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists while hiking in the Hebron area. The two Palestinian terrorists turned themselves in to Palestinian General Intelligence in Hebron the same day in order to avoid being apprehended by Israeli security forces.
On Friday morning, 28 December, off-duty soldiers Cpl. Ahikam Amihai and Sgt. David Rubin were hiking in wadi Telem with a female companion when four Palestinian terrorists opened fire on them from a jeep. Amihai and Rubin, who both served in elite commando units, were carrying their firearms and were able to return fire, killing one of the Palestinian gunmen and seriously wounding another before succumbing to their injuries. Their companion managed to hide and was uninjured, and phoned for help.
The families live in neighboring apartment buildings in Kiryat Arba. Both boys studied at the Mekor Haim high school yeshiva in Kfar Etzion and volunteered for elite IDF units.
Ahikam, whose draft was delayed for medical reasons, enlisted about a month ago to the Shaldag commando unit following a year of national service in the Hebrew University's Cave Research Unit in Ofra, in the West Bank. Previously unknown forms of life were discovered in one of the caves he investigated - a sensational find which created a stir in the international community.
Benia Sarel, a friend, described Ahikam's love for hiking in Israel: "Ahikam knew every spring, every path." He hiked throughout Israel at every opportunity, walking quickly, glancing for a moment at the map, sleeping and eating in the field." Thousands of photos carefully marked and placed in albums document these hikes.
Ahikam was the fifth child of Rabbi Yehuda Amihai and his wife Esther, and a grandson of Rabbi Tzvi Neria, "father of the knitted scullcap generation." Rabbi Yehuda Amihai is head of the Torah and Land Institute, formerly in Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip.
Cpl. Ahikam Amihai was buried in the Mt. Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem. He is survived by his parents, Yehuda and Esther, and nine siblings.