Those we have lost

Cpl. Naama Bony, 19: ‘Salt of the earth’ with eclectic musical tastes

Killed while battling Hamas terrorists at the Yiftah IDF base in Zikim on October 7

Cpl. Naama Bony (IDF)
Cpl. Naama Bony (IDF)

Cpl. Naama Bony, 19, a soldier in the 7th Armored Brigade, from Afula, was killed on October 7 when Hamas terrorists attacked the Yiftah IDF base next to Zikim.

Naama, who served in human resources for the IDF, had begun her mandatory service seven months earlier, and had celebrated her 19th birthday just a week before she was killed.

The morning of the attack, she was on guard duty when the Hamas invasion began. She texted her friends and family that there were terrorists in the base, and she was surrounded by some soldiers who had already been killed or wounded.

Naama was slain alongside a number of soldiers protecting the base, including Staff Sgt. Ido Harush, seen with her in final videos and photos from that morning. Her mother said that while she was stationed at the base’s fence during the invasion, she managed to call many others inside the base and tell them to seek safety.

She is survived by her parents, Yael and Yoav, her older brother Yuval, 21, and younger brother Yair, 16. She was buried on October 9 in Afula.

“I think she’s the salt of the earth, not because she’s my daughter, but because she was very moral, all of her life, and very dedicated to her goals and to her path, and it didn’t surprise me that she didn’t leave [her posting],” her mother, Yael, said during a musical memorial gathering hosted by Ynet.

“She was a wonderful girl, as parents she gave us the feeling that she understood the tricks of the trade, things fell into place as a teen, and she knew how to have a rich social life based on her deep friend connections. She made people feel special, she listened to them, she accepted them,” her mother added.

“She was a very curious child, she very much loved the field of music,” said Yael. “She would put together very interesting playlists with a lot of variety,” noting that Naama was shocked to discover that none of the soldiers in her basic training course were familiar with classic Israeli singer Yehudit Ravitz.

Two weeks after she was killed, her younger brother, Yair, wrote on Instagram to “my Naamuna, my sister, my second mother, my role model, my guardian angel.”

“We’re starting now a new chapter, a chapter without you, and I’m scared to get lost because usually you were the one who balanced me and directed me on the right path,” he wrote. “We planned to live together after the army, to get matching tattoos, to travel abroad — you were the most important person to me in the world.”

Her older brother, Yuval, spoke to the Kan public broadcaster about their time growing up together.

“Naamuna would come during breaks [in school] and ask if anyone had bothered me in class, even though she was a year and a half younger than me,” he said. “She sang wonderfully, all types of music, as if it was important to her to check them all off. Naama knew old Israeli songs that most kids her age didn’t recognize. She would come into my room and do an annoying imitation of my deep voice, and how I act like a responsible older brother, and I would crack up laughing.”

“When you enlisted, we suddenly stopped fighting, mostly the dumb fight over who got the car,” he continued. “We started to support each other. I guess enlisting made us miss each other, and created an understanding between us that life is short, and that every moment between us is important.”

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