Hillel (Sanders) Israeli was born on December 23, 1947 in Kibbutz Mishmar Haemek to Rivka and Eitan Sanders. Following seventh grade, Hillel and his brother and sister moved to Kfar Hanoar in Ben Shemen where his stepfather Yehoshua Israeli worked for the Jewish Agency's Aliyat Hanoar.
Hillel was drafted in 1966 and served in the Engineering Corps. His unit helped build the security fence in the Jordan Valley, cleared mines around Jerusalem and built fortifications in the Suez Canal Zone, laying mines while the Egyptians watched. He completed his service in August 1969.
Deciding to study medicine, Hillel was accepted to the University of British Columbia in Canada and studied there for two years, living with his grandparents and biological father, Eitan Sanders. In 1972 he returned to Israel and was accepted to the Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University. He was called to reserve duty in 1973 and served in a unit clearing mines in the north, despite repeated suggestions that he transfer to the Medical Corps.
On October 12, 1973 he was killed by artillery shrapnel and buried in the Mt Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem.