Matan was a 22 year old soldier when he encountered a suicide bomber at the soldiers bus-stop near the gas station of Ariel in the Shomron. There, he rushed forward to prevent the attack, sacrificing his own life to save his comrades.
Matan was born on Moshav Tekumah, in the Negev. He went to elementary school at Kibbutz Sa’ad. His parents, being strong idealists, moved the family to Yishuv Itamar, a neighboring settlement of Shechem. Matan adjusted quickly to the change and connected immediately to the new-ancient environs of his home in Itamar. He finished elementary school at Eilon Moreh . Remaining in the area, he continued his studies at Itamar’s, Yeshivat Chitzim, a high school that dorms boys from all parts of Israel. The high school places a strong emphasis on the love of the Land. Learning there enabled Matan to literally walk the length and breadth of the Land, which he did with great joy. His enthusiasm brought him to many accomplishments such as: diving, snappling, and a very high level of physical fitness.
After completing High School, he continued on to the Mechina Kdam Tzvai of Chemdat, which was only just beginning to be established at that time. Matan also devoted a lot of his free time to the Victims of Terror organization located in Jerusalem. Simultaneously he was equally involved and an active member of Moledet. Ghandi (היד ), always liked to call him the guy from the mountains. Matan emulated Ghandi and always spoke about the importance of our Moledet. He was deeply pained by the obscene transfer of parts of our Holy Land to the enemy.
Upon joining the army, Matan immediately stood out as an extraordinary lover of Zion. He would prove this to his friends by doing things like crumbling a small amount of earth into his cup of coffee. At an officers training course he wrote on his notepad in very big letters, the words from Tehillim קמד “צורי המלמד ידי לקרב אצבעותי למלחמה” “ Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight”. His commanding officer told him that with such faith, he too, would be a commanding officer.
Matan became the first officer from the 2nd generation of Itamar. Whenever he had leave from the army, he would forfeit sleep and rest and prefer to guard the Yishuv. The pioneer spirit was instilled in him by his family. Living on Itamar was a tremendous inspiration to him, giving him steadfast selflessness in his drive to make the Yishuv that he loved grow and thrive.
Matan absorbed Eretz Yisrael in every fiber of his heart, body and spirit. He, in pure truthful innocence, had a natural inclination to being a truly happy person. He expressed a great deal of sensitivity towards today’s painful events, but managed to always wear a smile and even encourage all of those around him. He had a good heart.
Matan began his army service with devoted determination. He joined the Paratroopers unit 890. From there he continued on to officers training. He was later promoted to commander of snipers in the unit “Nachshon”, which specializes in providing protection for the settlements of the Shomron- Ephraim.
He was later taken to heaven, rising in a storm, with purity as he served the State of Israel, the army and am Yisrael. He was called upon yet another mission, serving in the army of Hashem, and watching over the Jewish people from above. ה עוז לעמו יתן ה ה יקום את דמו הקדוש May his soul be bound in the ever-lasting chain of life.
Itamar Resident Murdered
Matan Zagron, 22, from Itamar Matan Zagron was about to assault the terrorist and took the brunt of the explosion, said his friends in the Nahshon Battalion, where Zagron served as a sniper officer. Two weeks ago he celebrated his 22nd birthday. His friend Oded Ronsky, who had spent the last few hours before the terrorist attack with him, said Matan’s dream was to serve in the Shin Bet. His father, Benny, who works in the research institute of Ariel’s college, was in Psagot, another West Bank settlement, when he was called by Rabbi Avi Ronsky of Itamar to the gas station after the attack. Matan’s mother, Varda, is a school teacher in Ariel’s Nahsholim school. The Zagron family moved to Itamar about 12 years ago from Tkuma. Matan studied at Itamar’s high school yeshiva Hitzim, and took the pre-military course in the Jordan Valley’s Hemdat. He joined the paratroopers, became an officer and moved to the Nahshon Battalion. Benny Zagron said Sunday that his son was a serious man who did not shirk from responsibility, “a leader type, with lots of motivation.”
Oded Ronsky said that only a couple of days ago Matan had parted from his friends and needed cheering up. “I drove him in the morning to the gas station, where he was supposed to meet his soldiers to take them to training drill. He was in good spirits when we parted. I didn’t imagine it was the last time I would see him. He passed a lot in his short life and we will miss him very much.” Matan Zagron’s funeral will be held at 11 A.M. Monday in Itamar. He is survived by parents Benny and Varda and four brothers and sister. from “Ha’aretz Monday, October 28, 2002 Cheshvan 22, 5763 “