ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Those We Have Lost

Dana and Carmel Bachar, 48 & 15: Mother and son buried side-by-side

Murdered in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7

Carmel and Dana Bachar (Courtesy)
Carmel and Dana Bachar (Courtesy)

Like many other Israeli families on October 7, the only defense the Bachar family of Kibbutz Be’eri has was the door to their safe room and their ability to hold it closed while terrorists tried to force their way in.

When the attack began, the Bachar family — father Avida, mother Dana, 15-year-old son Carmel and 13-year-old daughter Hadar — ran to the safe room in their house. The terrorists forced their way into the home and shouted at the family to come out of the safe room. While Avida tried to keep the door closed, the terrorists opened fire and managed to hit both Avida and Carmel.

Speaking from a bed at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba almost 10 days later, Avida told Channel 12 News how Hadar, who was lightly wounded, took over the situation and began frantically making calls on three different phones, calling Magen David Adom and anyone else she could while the terrorists lit the door on fire and smoke began to fill the safe room.

The terrorists then threw grenades into the room, two of which exploded. They also shot Dana, who lost consciousness and was gone.

“I told my daughter, mom doesn’t feel any pain anymore,” Avida said from his hospital bed.

Hadar and Avida were eventually rescued and evacuated to Soroka Hospital, where doctors had no choice but to amputate one of Avida’s legs.

In a tweet on October 16, longtime Channel 13 correspondent in the south Almog Boker wrote: “Dana Bachar, who raised all of the babies on Kibbutz Be’eri, was murdered along with her son by the Nazis of Hamas in Kibbutz Be’eri. Carmel’s last words were, ‘I want you bury me with my surfboard.’”

In the photo montage video that accompanies the tweet, Carmel can be seen in a wet suit in the churning surf next to the wave breakers of an Israeli beach, goofing off with friends in a photo booth, mugging for the camera somewhere on a hiking trail, embracing loved ones at one family home after another. Dana is seen as a loving mother in photos from a different world, a kindergarten teacher that so many Israelis would recognize from the days when their own kids were younger, when the same smile greeted them every morning.

The couple’s older son, Rotem, wrote of Dana on Facebook that “to be your son is to walk through the kibbutz and see the dozens of children that passed through your hands and grew up to be amazing kids. To be your son is know how to hold a baby, to put a baby to sleep, to feed, hug, love, and respect it.”

Rotem wrote about how his mom was always thrilled to see a pregnant mom-to-be and would whisper in his ear “See, she’s pregnant, you can tell, she’s beaming” — and she was never wrong.

He described a mother who raised her children — and those of the kibbutz — with tremendous care, who always gave anyone she spoke to her full attention, who always spread love and light anywhere she went.

“Ima, I can say so much more about you but I don’t want to sum it all up, this isn’t the time, you were so, so young. You didn’t live to see Carmel’s kids, Nofar’s, Hadar’s or mine,” Rotem said in his post.

Dana, 48, was buried next to her 15-year-old son at Kibbutz Shiller almost two weeks after the massacre. A surfboard could be seen on top of his coffin in photos from the funeral.

Anat Shemla wrote on Facebook about meeting Carmel when he took part in an initiative between Kibbutz Be’eri and the “Mifrasim” sailing club in Herzliya. The project brought together 13 youth from the kibbutz to take part in a sailing course held over an entire year. At the end of the course, the team went on a five-day sailing trip to Cyprus and back.

She described Carmel as a curious, always helpful boy, with a joyful smile. She also remembered that “he always loved to have his hands on the wheel, and not just anytime, but for hours, in a storm or when it was cold or dark. I would take a peek to see if you were OK and you would instantly smile and calm me down. You were only 15 years old, but we all knew we had someone we could count on.”

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