Gil Tasa, 46, and his son Or, 17, were both murdered by Hamas terrorists in separate locations on October 7.
Gil, a senior firefighter in the Ashkelon fire station, was at home in Netiv Ha’asara with his when the onslaught began, with his two youngest sons, Koren, 12 and Shay, 8.
Or, 17, left early Saturday morning to go fishing on the Zikim beach with some friends. Zohar, 15, was next door with his mother, Sabine, after the couple had separated last year.
“There were huge explosions and dad and I and Shay heard terrorists on the road behind us, and he told us to be quiet and not talk,” Koren recounted to the Kan public TV station. Gil grabbed his personal weapon and shot at the terrorists until he ran out of bullets, his son recalled.
Then, the terrorists threw a grenade into the shelter they were hiding in: “There’s no way he wasn’t afraid but he decided to save us and he jumped on the grenade… there was an explosion, I saw smoke, suddenly we were covered in blood.”
Koren said the terrorists came to check that Gil was actually dead, then drank the cola that was in the fridge and left the house. The two wounded brothers ran next door to their mother, where they hid in their safe room for hours until they were evacuated. Shay ultimately lost sight in one eye from shrapnel wounds.
After several days, they were informed that Or had also been murdered on the Zikim beach. Father and son were buried side by side on October 18.
Sapir Tasa, Or’s cousin and Gil’s niece, wrote that a month after their funeral, “I’m still in a dream, then I wake up and enter a new unthinkable reality… the only comfort I have is that you died in the name of God, for the fact that you were Jews… if you only knew how much I miss you maybe you wouldn’t have left me.”
Sabine described Or, her firstborn, as “the light of my life, my ray of sunshine, who lit up my life.”
She said she promised Gil and Or “that I will keep building and rehabilitate my life in Netiv Ha’sara — they didn’t break me, the opposite. They strengthened me more than ever to sow my seeds and rebuild and restore our beautiful moshav.”
Zohar wrote on Facebook on the evening of October 7 to his father, saying that “by some miracle, I am still alive and I have the chance to tell you that I love you… you tried to save the lives of my brothers but it cost you your life. I love you so much and you will always be in my memories, I wish I could have told you this before, my life is nothing without you, and thank you for all the years, I’m lucky that I got to be a part of your life.You’re my hero, Dad.”
Two days later, Zohar wrote that Or’s body had been found as well.
“God have mercy on me, what did I do to deserve all this?” he wrote. Or, “you had so many plans, you were so young and talented and all your life was ahead of you. I’m shattered to pieces, now I have to be the leader of the house. Watch over us from above, thank you for every little moment that I spent with you, I love you Or.”