Those we have lost

Aviv Eliyahu, 38: Head of security at Supernova and father of 2

Killed while battling Hamas terrorists near Kibbutz Re’im on October 7

Aviv Eliyahu (Courtesy)
Aviv Eliyahu (Courtesy)

Aviv Eliyahu, 38, from Elkosh, was killed by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7.

Aviv was serving as the head of the security of the festival when the attack began that Saturday morning. His younger brother, Yannai, and his cousin’s wife, Shlomi Ziv, were also in attendance at the rave. Yannai managed to survive and Shlomi, who was also working with the security team, was kidnapped by Hamas and rescued by the IDF from Gaza in June — which is when he found out that Aviv had been killed. Another friend, British immigrant Jake Marlowe, was also slain that day.

Yannai told Ynet that when the rocket fire began, “Aviv, my brother, ran to the stage and called over the central microphone to break up the festival and for all the security guards to open the emergency exits and get down on the ground and put their hands on their heads.”

Aviv, his brother added, “was very composed and didn’t express any panic” amid the shock attack. “Without saying goodbye, he went to the parking area to direct traffic” as hundreds started to leave the event. Yannai said that people started coming back from the parking area with gunshot wounds, “and people who were with Aviv told me that they understood it was a terror attack and were firing back at the terrorists and protecting the crowd with their bodies.”

Aviv texted Yannai telling him not to head in the direction of the parking lot, he said. In video footage later received by the family, Aviv can be seen firing back at the terrorists before he is hit and killed by an RPG.

He is survived by his wife, Liron, their two sons, Adi, 7, and Nevo, almost 2, his parents, Esther and Sinai and his siblings Moshe, Noam and Yannai.

Aviv was buried on October 15 in Elkosh in the Western Galilee.

A native of Elkosh and the son of a veteran police officer, Aviv grew up there before enlisting in the IDF for his mandatory service and serving in the Artillery Corps on a base in the south. He later studied at the College for Security Professions where he prepared for his career in security, during which he managed many high-profile and crowded events and gatherings across the country.

Yannai told Ynet that his older brother “was a peace-seeking person who loved the country and all mankind — Arabs, Jews, without differentiating between religion, ethnicity and gender. He was loved and respected and he respected everyone.” Yanai said he thought of Aviv, 15 years his senior, “like a father, he was my guiding force in life, we were very connected. Every little thing I would need, he would always help. I feel like I’ve been abandoned.”

Aviv’s father Sinai, who served as a police officer for 42 years and retired after his son was killed, told Ynet that he “gave Aviv these values of giving as much as possible to others and protecting them, and in the moment of truth, he gave his life and saved thousands by keeping them away from the terrorists and staying behind to fight.”

Marking 30 days since he was killed, Aviv’s wife, Liron, wrote that he was “the best husband and best friend I could have ever asked for, and the best father there was. Adi was always proud that Dad had a weapon and he could beat everyone but the monstrous terrorists didn’t leave you a chance and you fought with your body to protect others.”

In a post marking 100 days since October 7, Liron wrote that she was still struggling to come to terms with his death, and that “every morning I wake up and understand that this is my new reality.”

“The longing does not let up and the thoughts are unbearable,” she added. “But I want to tell you that I have chosen life alongside the pain that shattered me into pieces. Tomorrow, Nevo turns two and I promise to celebrate him and make him happy exactly as you would have wanted. You never got to see him start talking and you would go crazy for him now that he is playful and funny exactly like you.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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