Those we have lost

Ch. Insp. Kim Dukarker, 22: Off-duty cop who wouldn’t leave her friend

Killed while trying to flee the Supernova music festival on October 7

Border Police Ch. Insp. Kim Dukarker (Courtesy)
Border Police Ch. Insp. Kim Dukarker (Courtesy)

Ch. Insp. Kim Dukarker, a 22-year-old off-duty Border Police officer, was killed by Hamas on October 7 while trying to flee the Supernova music festival.

Kim, a resident of Yavne, is survived by her parents and two younger brothers. Her funeral was held on October 12.

An Instagram page set up in Kim’s memory shows snapshots of her life: dressed in her army uniform, her straight black hair tied tightly in a ponytail; training in the field; singing and partying with friends; wearing a pink flower in her hair, her large green eyes looking into ahead pensively; wearing a sleeveless turquoise evening gown with her hair tied up in a bun; dressed as a butterfly surrounded by butterflies at a party.

Kim “excelled at whatever she did,” and was a “role model” to many who knew her, her father Israel said in an interview. She was determined to become an officer, advance in her role, and significantly contribute to her country.

On leave from her policing duties that weekend, Kim attended the dance party with her two close friends Neta David and Raz Mizrahi. When the rocket alarms sounded, they fled from the festival grounds toward Kibbutz Be’eri, where they entered a bomb shelter, unaware that the kibbutz and the whole area were also awash with infiltrated terrorists.

Kim and Raz were both killed when terrorists threw six grenades into the bomb shelter where they and other festival goers had sought refuge.

Her friend Raz, who had survived a car ramming attack in East Jerusalem in 2021, was post-traumatic and terrorized. She refused to leave the shelter, even as they heard shots outside and the realization sank in that their shelter could become a death trap. Neta begged her friends to leave, but Kim said she couldn’t abandon the trembling Raz.

Leaving them behind with some 40 other people, Neta stopped a passing car, jumped in as a flurry of shots erupted, and sped away, even as the driver and other passengers got injured by the bullets. They later had to abandon the destroyed car and run and hide before leaving the danger area.

Meanwhile, Hamas shooters approached the shelter in which Kim and Raz were hiding. They threw in six hand grenades. Then they sprayed them with bullets.

Since 6:30 that morning, when the rocket alarms sounded, Kim had been in touch with her mother and her police colleagues, sending them her location and asking them to send a rescue team. At 7:58 she texted her boyfriend Lidor Oshri – “Imaleh,” she wrote — meaning “Mommy,” a term used when one is afraid. She also messaged her mother, saying they were being shot at. After that there was no more contact.

Urged by Kim’s mother, Kim’s father Israel scoured hospitals and the Shura Camp, which was transformed into a morgue in which bodies were being identified, for news of Kim. On the third day, still without news, he set out with friends into the war zone to find his girl, following the location of her cell phone, driving via Netivot and the fields.

On the way they were stopped and questioned by soldiers. “I told them I am a father, I want to find my daughter,” Israel said in the interview. They allowed them to proceed. “They told me go, look,” Israel said, adding that the soldiers told him they were not looking for injured people but dealing with the terrorists.

When they got to the shelter, they found body parts (the bodies had been taken to the morgue already) and parts of Kim’s cellphone. But no Kim. For two days they searched the area – shouting out for her in the fields, hoping she was hiding or injured somewhere. Each evening, they returned home, cried, but came back the next morning with renewed hope to continue their search.

Then at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, after five days of anxious uncertainty, they got a call from Shura Camp informing them that they had identified Kim’s body, Israel said in the interview.

“I ask myself what made her give up her life and enter the trap of the shelter… the shelter was a trap,” Israel said, his green eyes a reflection of those of Kim. “I guess it was friendship. Friendship. She couldn’t handle a reality… in which a friend is left behind.”

“A very big part of the life of our family has been taken away,” he added.

Kim’s cousin Meshi Yakovian was interviewed by Channel 14. “She was an amazing girl. She was a fighter…she was brave, she was always the most generous, the nicest…she chose the value of friendship until the last moment,” she said.

They grew up together, celebrated parties and Jewish festivals together, just like two sisters, Yakovian said. Kim, she added, went to the Supernova party to have fun and dance and then “she simply didn’t come back. And it hurts. It is hard.”

“We are a small family,” she added. “To lose one is to lose a whole world…We try to gather strength each one for the other, but we don’t always manage… we try.”

Her family has raised funds to donate a Torah scroll in her name.

“My Kim was a walking angel, my first partner and my greatest love, I don’t know how to hurt and cannot cry anymore. I just want her to be proud of me from above,” Lidor, her boyfriend wrote on Instagram.

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

Most Popular
read more: