Those We Have Lost

Itzhak Balti, 53: ‘Anchor’ for his three children, who idolized him

Killed defending residents of Ofakim from Hamas terrorists on October 7

Itzhak Balit (Facebook)
Itzhak Balit (Facebook)

Itzhak (Itzik) Balti, 53, from Ofakim, was killed defending his neighborhood from Hamas terrorists on October 7.

When Itzhak heard the terrorists enter Ofakim, he grabbed his personal firearm and rushed out to engage them and fought until he was killed.

Before he was killed, Itzhak managed to save many people on the street who he told to lock themselves in their homes and their bomb shelters.

For the first few days after October 7, Itzhak was declared missing but was identified on October 11.

Itzhak was one of nine siblings and is survived by his daughters — 25-year-old Enil and 21-year-old Liam — and his two-year-old son Ari.

Itzhak was “a special father who never gave up on his time with his daughters who he was an anchor for even when they were grown up,” his ex-wife Michal wrote on Facebook the day he was identified.

Itzhak’s daughter Liam wrote on social media that he “knew everything from math to English to widespread general knowledge, to martial arts, to cooking.”

“Even your laundry loads were the best, and you even knew how to sew,” she wrote. “There was no question I would ask you that you didn’t know the answer to. And when you didn’t know but wanted to, you made sure you knew better than anyone.”

She added that he had always been there for her, “even when my pride got the better of me and I couldn’t see it.”

Enil said Itzhak’s love for his people and his Zionism were his life’s mission.

“His mission was to always train and be ready for these moments,” she said.

On Facebook, Enil wrote that her father had been a man to whom “the good of others was more important than himself, a man who did everything to prepare himself his whole life so that other people wouldn’t get hurt, a man who said he preferred that the last bullet hit him rather than a different family.”

Otzma Yehudit MK Almog Cohen, who was a good friend of Itzhak’s, told the Israeli broadcaster Kan that he was a “smiling, modest, and loving man.”

In an obituary on the Ofakim municipal website, Itzhak was described as a man “endowed with great courage that was evident in his military service as well as in his civilian life.”

He was also described as “opinionated, educated, and loved by everyone, especially his family.”

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