Those We Have Lost

Cpt. Tomer Shoham, 23: Platoon commander who was ‘moral and ethical’

Killed fighting Hamas at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom on October 7

Cpt. Tomer Shoham who was killed by Hamas at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom on October 7, 2023. (IDF)
Cpt. Tomer Shoham who was killed by Hamas at Kibbutz Kerem Shalom on October 7, 2023. (IDF)

Cpt. Tomer Shoham, 23, from Moshav Srigim, a platoon commander in the Nahal Infantry Brigade, was killed on October 7 while battling Hamas terrorists near Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.

He is survived by his parents, Michal and Ran, and his siblings Yael and Avshalom. He was buried in Srigim on October 12.

Before enlisting in the army, he completed a year of national service at a rehab clinic for youth, and received several commendations throughout his military service, his family said.

“They fought for an hour next to the Kerem Shalom fence, and they killed dozens of terrorists,” his sister, Yael, told Israel Hayom. “At some point Tomer went up with his marksman on a small hill, to check out the situation, and was shot through his helmet. He was killed on the spot and the marksman was wounded.”

After his death, Yael said, his family found a diary in which he wrote about his responsibilities as a commander: “It was important to him to be moral and ethical, and in these notebooks he organized for himself his approach to commanding. It was important to him to be a role model for the soldiers, to aspire to excellence and to show that racism is considered a red line.”

She said that he learned Arabic from a Druze soldier he served with and deepened his studies with a course in Abu Ghosh while on break, “and when he moved to serve near Gaza, he understood that it’s a really important issue, and even thought about moving there after he was released from service,” noting that they had also planned to travel together to Nepal when he finished the army.

“It’s a little bit comforting to know that Tomer knew what to do in the critical moments, that he saved many residents of Kerem Shalom,” Yael added. “He died as a soldier of peace, he didn’t want this battle, but he knew to be loyal to the values and the goals, and how to accomplish them.”

His father, Ran, told the Channel 12 news site that “the soldiers who took part in that battle told us that Tomer handled the event in a very professional and good way,” noting that his constant state of readiness meant the platoon had ammo for hours of fighting. “It was just like in training, he gave orders and he was in full control, he didn’t look panicked or scared — the opposite, he was calm, knew what he wanted to do.”

“Tomer always wanted to do his very best,” his father added. “Tomer was the kind of person who did things seriously and deeply. There was no bad in him, he was pure and kind.”

Ran said that the family is still deep in mourning months later: “The loss doesn’t end after the shiva [mourning week] or a month, or 100 days. The pain continues with us and we just hope that there will be peace and that there won’t be other families who will experience this pain.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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