Two Israelis who have been designated as missing since the Hamas attacks of October 7 were confirmed Thursday to have been killed.
Kibbutz Nir Oz resident Aviv Atzili was killed during the assault on southern Israel, the community announced on Thursday evening.
And the family of Ofir Tzarfati, who had gone missing at the Supernova music rave, has been told he is dead, according to the city hall of his hometown of Kiryat Ata.
Tzarfati had been presumed captive until now. He was celebrating his 27th birthday at the party with his girlfriend, Shoval, and friends, when he was abducted to Gaza by terrorists who killed at least 364 people at the music festival and kidnapped many others. A date of death and other details have not been provided.
Atzili, 49, had also been presumed kidnapped since the attack. On October 8, Atzili’s phone was tracked in Gaza, and friends said that while his family’s home had been burned down, there was no blood or signs of struggle, and he was declared missing and presumed captive.
His wife, Liat Beinin Atzili, was kidnapped during the attack and held by terrorists in Gaza until her release on Wednesday night. It is unknown whether the news on Aviv Atzili’s fate was tied to his wife’s release.
Atzili is also survived by three children.
“Aviv was one of the great pillars of the Nir Oz community,” a statement published by the kibbutz on Thursday evening read. “Painter, cyclist, lover of the land. May his memory be a blessing.”
On the morning of October 7, Atzili, who was part of the Kibbutz Nir Oz civilian security team, left his home to fight the Hamas-led terrorists who had invaded the kibbutz, as thousands invaded the south, killing more than 1,200 people and seizing some 240 hostages. His wife stayed behind in the safe room of their home, where terrorists found her and took her captive.
Atzili worked at the kibbutz, running the garage for agricultural machinery. He was a metalwork artist on the side and had recently showcased his work at local art exhibitions.
On Wednesday night, his wife Liat Beinin, who is a dual Israeli-US citizen, was released as part of a Qatar-negotiated hostage deal.
US President Joe Biden welcomed Beinin’s release on Wednesday night.
“I’ve got some very good news to report,” he told reporters. “Liat Beinin is safe in Egypt. She’s crossed the border. I talked to her mother and father; they’re very appreciative. She’ll soon be home with her three children.”
The couple’s children, Ofri, 22, Neta, 20, and Aya, 18, were unharmed in the attack, and have been staying in Eilat with their grandmother since October 7.
Kibbutz Nir Oz, where Atzili was born, is located just 1.6 km away from the Gaza border and was one of the communities most heavily impacted by the shock Hamas onslaught.
Of the roughly 400 people who called the southern community their home, 38 were killed and 75 were seized as hostages.