Yochanan Avraham Hilburg was born on September 19, 1974 in Kibbutz Alumim to Bryna and Shmaryahu Shmuel. His parents had made aliya from the US two years earlier. When Yochanan was one year old, his family moved to Kiryat Arba and four years later to Kibbutz Netzer Hazani, in the southern section of the Gaza Strip.
Yochanan went to elementary school in Gush Katif and then to Yeshivat Or Etzion in Mercaz Shapira. After completing high school he spent a year at the pre-army Mechina at Beit Yattir.
In August 1993 he was inducted in the Army and joined the Naval commandos. On September 5, 1997, Sgt Major Yochanan Avraham Hilburg was one of twelve soldiers killed in a Hizbullah ambush of a navy commando unit in Lebanon. He was buried in the Gush Katif cemetery and, on August 30, 2005, reburied in the Nitzan cemetery, after the evacuation of Gush Katif.