Kibbutz Be’eri resident Ilan Weiss, missing since Oct. 7, is confirmed killed

Community asks that ‘devoted father to his daughters’ be recognized as a fallen soldier as he was part of kibbutz security team that tried to ward off terrorists during assault

Ilan Weiss, last seen early in the morning of October 7, 2023, presumed taken captive in Gaza from his home in Kibbutz Be'eri (Courtesy)
Ilan Weiss, last seen early in the morning of October 7, 2023, presumed taken captive in Gaza from his home in Kibbutz Be'eri (Courtesy)

Ilan Weiss, who had been considered missing since the Hamas-led massacres on October 7, was killed in the assault on his community, Kibbutz Be’eri announced Monday.

Weiss, 56, left his home on the morning of October 7 to join the kibbutz emergency response team. His family didn’t hear from him after 7:15 a.m. that day.

His wife Shiri, 53, and daughter Noga, 18, were seized and taken hostage in Gaza. The two were released on November 25 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel.

“This morning we received the bitter news of the murder of kibbutz member Ilan Weiss,” the kibbutz said in a joint statement with the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, which was set up to support the families. “The kibbutz community bows its head and sympathizes with the family’s unbearable pain.”

It described Weiss as “a family man and a devoted father to his daughters.”

“He was a well-known and respected man among his entire community, which he loved so much,” the statement said.

A building in Kibbutz Be’eri near the border with Gaza on October 22, 2023, in the aftermath of the Hamas terror onslaught on October 7. (Jack GUEZ / AFP)

The kibbutz asked that Weiss, as deputy commander of the kibbutz defense team, be recognized as a soldier killed in combat “as he fulfilled his role when he went out to open the armory.”

Weiss had replaced another member who usually handles the task but was unavailable. The statement said Weiss opened the armory “to distribute weapons to the members of the standby squad, who fought to save the residents and the homes of the residents of the kibbutz.”

His death was determined by a Forensic Medicine Institute examination which assessed that Weiss was not alive and estimated that he was murdered on October 7, the statement said.

It was not clear from the statement if Weiss’s remains had been gathered. Terrorists who carried out the massacres also abducted the bodies of some of their victims.

On October 7, Hamas led some three thousand terrorists who burst through the border with the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, killing over 1,200 people, most of them civilians, as they overran local communities. They also abducted at least 240 people who were taken as hostages to Gaza.

Kibbutz Be’eri was one of the hardest-hit communities.

When the terrorists entered the Weiss home, Ilan’s daughter Noga hid under the bed in the safe room and watched as Hamas gunmen took her mother captive.

She texted the rest of the family on WhatsApp, telling them that the gunmen had set fire to the house. As it became difficult to breathe, Noga’s older sister told her to escape through the window of the safe room and hide in a bush.

The Weiss family from Kibbutz Be’eri, before October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

Noga texted her sister at 11:30 a.m. that a terrorist was approaching her hiding spot, which was the last time anyone heard from her until her release from captivity.

Noga’s sisters, Meytal, 23, and Maayan, 26, both lived in separate student apartments in Be’eri, and hid in their safe rooms for nearly 12 hours until Israeli soldiers were able to rescue them.

The Weiss family are part of an extended clan at Kibbutz Be’eri that was deeply affected by the massacre that took place on what has become known in Israel as the “Black Shabbat.”

The Weiss family dog, Ketem, was also killed on October 7; Ilan Weiss’s daughters said they used to tease their father that the beloved dog was the son their father never had.

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