Eviatar “Tari” Kipnis, 65, was initially presumed captive in Gaza on October 7, 2023, when Hamas terrorists invaded Kibbutz Be’eri.
Wife Lilach’s extended family was celebrating the Sukkot holiday together at her sister’s home on the kibbutz when Hamas terrorists took a number of family members captive during the terror group’s bloody October 7 onslaught launched from the Gaza Strip.
On October 17, the family received word that Kipnis’s remains had been identified. His brother-in-law Avshalom Haran was also identified, and a week later, Lilach was also confirmed to be dead.
Many other members of the extended family were kidnapped and taken hostage in Gaza before ultimately being released on November 25.
Raised at Kibbutz Maagan Michael in the north, Kipnis was a skipper from birth, said his nephew Maayan Smith. He was an adventurer who once sailed from Eilat to Sydney, Australia, in his yacht. When not at sea, he held several managerial positions at Be’eri and neighboring Kibbutz Kfar Aza.
However, Kipnis was badly injured in a bike accident eight years ago and developed an autoimmune disease that attacks his nervous system.
He became less mobile, requiring a wheelchair and caregiver as well as daily medications and therapies he received at Hadassah Hospital every 10 days. The body of Eviatar’s caregiver, Paul Castelvi, was found in the nearby Be’eri forest following the assault.
“Lilach and Tari are people of peace, who believe in coexistence and had Palestinian and Bedouin friends,” Smith said. “Their focus in life is to fight the occupation, those were their values.”