The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday announced the deaths of three soldiers during the Hamas onslaught of October 7 and said that their bodies are being held by the terror group in the Gaza Strip.
The soldiers were identified as Staff Sgt. Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas, 20, a signals soldier for a brigade commander, from Lehavim; Sgt. Kiril Brodski, 19, a member of a brigade commander’s team, from Ramat Gan; and Sgt. Shaked Dahan, 19, of the 7th Armored Brigade’s 77th Battalion, from Afula.
In the wake of the Hamas onslaught on October 7, in which the terror group killed at least 1,200 people and took some 240 hostages, the three soldiers were believed to have been kidnapped and were classified as such by the IDF.
However, after examining new evidence, the IDF determined that they had been killed on the day of the attack, making them “fallen soldiers held hostage by a terror group,” the military said in a statement.
The military’s chief rabbi corroborated the intelligence findings and declared the date of their deaths to be October 7 but said that the findings gathered over the last few weeks would allow for Ahimas and Brodski to be buried according to Jewish law.
“The Lehavim community bows its head upon learning of the death of Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas, son of Moshe and Anat, after many days of anticipation, worry and hope that he was among the kidnapped and would return to us,” the community said in a statement and added that his funeral will take place in his hometown of Lehavim on Wednesday afternoon.
Ramat Gan Mayor Carmel Shama offered his condolences to the family of Kiril Brodski, saying: “I talked to his mother, and my heart was torn by the intensity of her grief and pain. The entire city shares in the family’s pain.”
“Kiril fell with his friends on the black Saturday of October 7, and was immediately kidnapped to Gaza by the terrorist monsters,” he said. “His parents Lena and Victor, his sister Alina and the entire people of Israel have since believed in the hope that he was kidnapped, and anticipated his return.”
Sigalit Gal, mother of Shaked Dahan, stated that she would not observe the traditional seven-day Jewish mourning period until her son’s body is returned from Gaza.
Unlike Amihas and Brodski, the military rabbinate determined that at this time, Dahan could not be given a burial according to Jewish law.
“I did for you what I needed to as a mother. I managed to keep you safe and protect you in many situations,” wrote Sigalit Gal. “You’ve been taken from me forever. They took you and didn’t bother to return you, not even your body.
“They don’t respect you, don’t respect the family and certainly not the state,” she added. “I’ve decided I will not sit shiva until your body is returned.”
During a nightly press briefing on Tuesday evening, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari offered his condolences to the bereaved families, saying, “Our hearts are with you, and we will continue to accompany you in these difficult moments.”
The deaths of the three soldiers brought the toll of fallen IDF soldiers since the outbreak of the war on October 7 to 395.