Author: Rami Harpaz & Nurit Harpaz
On June 30, 1970, seconds after a missile hit his plane, Israeli pilot Rami Harpaz found himself hovering between heaven and earth. The earth below, however, happened to be Egypt.
In the twinkling of an eye, Harpaz went from being the highly-skilled pilot of a Phantom Jet – then the spearhead of the Israeli air force – to a prisoner in an Egyptian prison where he was to be held captive for the next three and a half years.
A few hours after his plane had gone down, Harpaz’ wife, Nurit, and his children received the bitter news. Nurit had just entered the final months of her latest pregnancy, a pregnancy that unexpectedly culminated in the birth of twin girls.
Throughout the years of his captivity – on both sides of the Sinai Desert – Rami and Nurit went through many upheavals, happy moments vying with dispiriting disasters, hope mingling with despair. The story of their lives during that time – together and separately – could easily form the basis of a nail-biting television drama.
‘Letters from Captivity’ has been written in the form of an epistolary novel, blending together the moving, authentic correspondence that passed between Nurit and Rami. These are the very real letters that reveal the physical and mental struggles this rare couple had to overcome. They provide deep and meaningful insights into the crises and obstacles life puts in our way, and how we might face and overcome them.
‘Letters from Captivity’ is a real story, told by those who lived it, but which has been written in the most captivating prose. It is a fascinating, breathtaking, epistolary novel which does not allow the reader a single moment’s respite.
Rami Harpaz passed away in January, 2019, about a week before he would have celebrated his eightieth birthday party. He had only recently completed work on this book.
Click here to pick up your free copy of Letters from Captivity in the Amazon Kindle store.
About the Author:
Rami Harpaz (1939 – 2019) was a Colonel in the Israel Defense Forces and an IDF prisoner of war during the War of Attrition. Harpaz served as a fighter pilot in the Israeli Air Force and spent three and a half years in an Egyptian prison. Following his release, he returned to the air force, and came to command the IAF base at Ramat David.
Harpaz was born in Herzliya, grew up in Kibbutz Mishmar HaEmek and lived most of his adult life in Kibbutz Hazorea. He enlisted in the IDF in 1956 and completed a pilot course in August 1958, majoring in combat, serving as a fighter pilot on several combat planes. He discharged from regular service in 1961.
During the Six Day War, he served as a senior leader in attack formations. He participated in 24 operational sorties during the war, the highest number among air force fighter pilots.
After the war he re-enlisted into permanent service.
During the War of Attrition with Egypt, he participated in many operational raids. During Operation Hair 7, on June 30, 1970, his aircraft was hit by an anti-aircraft missile and he and his navigator pilot Eyal Ahikar, were forced to eject over Egyptian territory.
During his captivity he underwent severe interrogations and torture; he became the leader of Israeli prisoners imprisoned at this time in the Abassia prison in Cairo.
Soon after he became a prisoner of war his twin daughters were born.
He was released from captivity in November 1973, after the Yom Kippur War.
Following his return from over 3 years of captivity he returned to serve as a pilot in the air force, and commander of several IAF bases, until his retirement from the reserve service in 2016.
Harpaz died on January 24, 2019. He was a member of Kibbutz Hazorea, was married to Nurit. The couple had 5 children, their youngest son, Erez, died during a trip to Bolivia.
You can visit his Amazon author page if you click here.
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