Two more Americans were killed in Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel this week.
One of the victims was a 24-year-old “funny” aspiring musician from Utah, who was among more than 260 people slaughtered at a music festival Saturday morning.
Lotan Abir traveled from the Beehive State to attend the concert with other members of Utah’s Jewish community.
“He ultimately gave up his life for the sake of our people at a rave, celebrating some of his greatest passions in life… Just a kind, sweet, joyful, innocent soul who was slaughtered by a terrorist,” Rabbi Avremi Zippel said . The Salt Lake Tribune.
Lotan Abir, 24, Israeli born, had just moved to Utah in 2022 to pursue his music career
Roey Weiser, 21, an Israeli-American soldier who saved the lives of twelve of his comrades on Saturday after being attacked by terrorists at his base
Another of those killed was Roey Weiser, 21, an Israeli-American soldier who saved the lives of 12 of his comrades after he was attacked by terrorists at his base on Saturday.
“He died the way he lived, by putting others first, and when his base was overrun by terrorists, he turned to his own efforts to divert their attention so others could escape,” his mother Naomi Feifer-Weiser said in an interview CNN.
“Because of his bravery, at least twelve other soldiers are alive today,” the grieving mother added.
Weiser was a resident of Efrat, a settlement near the West Bank. His father is from Silver Spring, Maryland, while his mother is from Brooklyn, New York. The parents raised their family in Israel. He was a sergeant in the Golani Brigade of the Israeli army.
In a Facebook post, Weiser’s father, Yami Weiser, said his son’s death caused “indescribable heartbreak” and that he was “killed” in the line of duty while “defending the southern border.”
After his position was overrun, Weiser opened fire from behind on a group of terrorists, allowing his fellow soldiers to regroup. He was shot dead during this fight, reports say The Jewish Press.
An unknown family member told me The Jerusalem Post: ‘Roey’s courage shone as he attempted to distract the terrorists in the early stages of the battle, saving at least twelve fellow soldiers in the process.’
Before joining the military, Weiser was a firefighter.
In a online tribute, Weiser’s relatives in Maryland called him their “favorite Israeli sports fan from Washington.” His smile lit up the room that enjoyed eating donuts and talking about the Washington Commanders.
According to Yami’s Facebook posts, their son’s body was located on Tuesday. His funeral took place early on Wednesday.
“Our only wish is for Roey to be laid to rest forever and grieved appropriately,” his father wrote.
A tribute to Weiser closes his childhood home near the West Bank
Weiser pictured with other members of his unit in the Golani Brigade
Meanwhile, Rabbi Avremi Zippel told the Tribune that Lotan Abir was “the kind of person you would want to call your friend.”
“He ultimately gave up his life for the sake of our people at a rave, celebrating some of his greatest passions in life… Just a kind, sweet, happy, innocent soul who was slaughtered by a terrorist,” Zippel added to it.
The victim moved to Utah in 2022 after completing his military service.
A friend, Elad Ogorek, told the Tribune that they lost Abir during the initial panic.
‘We knew it would be bad news; we didn’t know what bad news it would be. We said it ourselves and asked each other: ‘What is better: being kidnapped to Gaza or just dying?’, Ogorek said.
“He died doing something we all love to do: dancing and enjoying our freedom,” Ogorek said.
Abir worked as a DJ and musician in Utah, while also doing odd jobs to make ends meet, he reports Fox Salt Lake City. He was a member of the Young Jewish Professionals group.
Adrienne Neta, 66, is also missing. She is a nurse and midwife who moved to Israel from California in 1981
Hersh Golberg-Polin, 23, texted his mother and father: “I love you guys. I’m sorry’ Saturday at 8:11 a.m. – as Palestinian militants declared war on Israel, taking dozens of people hostage and killing hundreds during the Jewish High Holiday
Daniel Ben Senior, 34, was working at the Nova festival on Saturday when Hamas militants attacked
Natalie Ranaan was visiting family with her mother Judith over the High Holidays when the abuse started on Saturday. Family members have not heard from either woman since
Judith Raanan was also taken hostage along with her daughter. Their family in Illinois has not heard from them since Saturday
According to President Joe Biden, at least fourteen Americans are among the dead, while more are believed to have been taken hostage.
An unknown number of people from the festival were taken hostage. A video posted by militants on social media and verified by the AP shows an Israeli couple, Noa Argamani and her partner Avinatan Or, being dragged away by their captors.
Argamani, her face twisted in panic, shouts “No, no!” in Hebrew as he was forced onto a motorcycle, sandwiched between two gunmen. She reaches for Or, whose hands are tied behind his back as a group of militants march him forward.
Their whereabouts are now unknown. But Hamas claims it is holding more than a hundred Israelis hostage. On Monday, the group threatened to systematically kill prisoners if the Israeli army bombed Palestinian areas without warning.
Missing: Sisters Norelle and Roya Manzuri, who previously went to school in Los Angeles, were at the peace festival on Saturday
Israel has vowed an unprecedented offensive against the Islamist militant group that rules Gaza after its fighters broke through the border fence and stormed into the south of the country.
Israel has cut off food, fuel and medicine access to Gaza, and the only remaining access from Egypt was cut off on Tuesday after airstrikes near the border crossing.
The war, which has already claimed at least 2,100 lives on both sides, is expected to escalate.
It seems increasingly likely that Israel will launch a ground offensive against Gaza.
“We will not allow a reality in which Israeli children are murdered,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Tuesday during a meeting with soldiers near the southern border. “I have removed every restriction; we will eliminate anyone who fights us, and use every measure at our disposal.”
Israel stepped up its offensive on Tuesday, expanding the mobilization of reservists to 360,000. The Israeli army said it has regained effective control over areas attacked by Hamas in the south and along the Gaza border.
Murdered: Missouri native Debbie and Shlomi Matias were murdered in front of their son on Saturday