The brother of Hila Betzaleli, who was killed four years ago during the rehearsals for the annual Independence Day ceremony, talks about his family’s decision to foster a 6-year-old girl.


Hila Photo Credit: Courtesy of the family/Channel 2 News

On April 18th, 2012, during the rehearsals for the annual Independence Day ceremony, second lieutenant Hila Betzaleli was killed after a stage lighting rig collapsed and hit her. Four years later, the trial against those responsible for the tragedy continues. Hila’s parents, Sigal and Yaron, follow the trial closely and make an attempt to be present at every hearing related to the case. About a year ago, the Betzaleli family decided to foster a young girl. In an interview with Channel 2 Online, Hila’s brother stressed: “She is not Hila’s replacement.”

“We were four- three brothers and Hila: I celebrated my 19th birthday a few months ago. Our older brother Niv is 27 years old and 13-year-old Or is our younger brother. Hila was six years older than me,” said Zac Betzaleli.

The young girl joined the Betzaleli family last July. “My parents wanted this- they saw it as their duty- to do something good for society,” explained Zac. “They decided they should give a girl a full life. The girl was already in a foster home that could not continue to take care of her. She sees her mother from time to time and on the weekends, she spends time with her grandmother. If her mother wants, she can go through the necessary legal proceedings and take her away from her legal guardian, my parents.”


Zac Photo Credit: Courtesy of the family/Channel 2 News

“It’s important to emphasis- she is not Hila’s replacement. There is the foster child and there is Hila,” clarified Zac. “There is no way to replace what we have lost.”

“It’s a great feeling,” declared Zac. “Our goal right now is to do everything good for the girl and give her everything.” Zac said that the girl already knows Hila’s story: “She sees the pictures so we of course told her about Hila. Hila has a lot of presence in our home.”

Zac is currently serving in the IDF. “I was drafted as a shooting instructor and they wanted me to become an officer but because of a manpower issue, they decided to send me to a medic training course and later to an officer training course for medical organization- what Hila did in the army,” he said. “I finished the course on April 18th, the day she was killed.”