Those We Have Lost

Lt. Adar Ben Simon, 20: Commander ‘sacrificed her life like a hero’

Killed battling a Hamas invasion of the IDF Zikim base on October 7

Lt. Adar Ben Simon who was killed on the Zikim base on October 7, 2023. (IDF)
Lt. Adar Ben Simon who was killed on the Zikim base on October 7, 2023. (IDF)

Lt. Adar Ben Simon, 20, a commander in the Home Front Command, from Neve Ziv, was killed battling a Hamas invasion of the IDF Zikim base on October 7.

She was buried October 9 in the military cemetery in Nahariya. She is survived by her parents, Zehava and Erez, and siblings Raz, Shahaf and Aviv — her twin.

Ben Simon was one of the senior commanders on duty at the Zikim training base when it was attacked by Hamas who went out to the front lines to fight the invasion and told all the young trainees on base to seek shelter, saving their lives. Six of the commanders, including Ben Simon, were killed in the battle, and all but one trainee emerged alive.

Adar’s twin, Aviv, told Channel 12 news that initially on that Saturday morning “we were calm because she was in an IDF base. We didn’t know they would get to her as well.”

“She wrote to us that she heard gunshots,” Aviv recounted. “Adar and the commanders made a decision to go out and fight, and sent all the trainees to the shelter. They didn’t get any such order from above, but they ordered the trainees to go to a protected place and went out to fight. She sacrificed her life like a hero and was a role model.”

Aviv told Channel 14 that his twin sister was “my best friend, we grew up together, we did everything together, she was my second half. She helped me with everything, nothing could separate us… She was the light of our family.”

Her older brother, Raz, posted a video on Instagram describing her as “the backbone and the light of our family, your smile always radiated and lit up any darkness. We were four siblings whom others were always jealous of. We are a united, special and strong family, with perfect parents who raised children gloriously. We went through so much together, and we made sure to rack up magical and unforgettable experiences. You loved life so much, and you always had principles and a sea of values.”

Her sister, Shahaf, wrote on Instagram a tribute to “Adar, my only sister, my warrior sister, commander of the platoon, our officer.”

“I’m so proud of you, my whole body is burning with pain and with a sense of pride that you defended [others] with your body and saved so many lives,” she wrote. “Adar, my little and only sister, I admired you and learned so much from you, like you were an older sister… you were never afraid of anything, everything was nonsense to you, ‘put everything in proportion,’ you would always tell me.”

Shahaf wrote that Adar was “a true fighter, everyone admired and admires you, now even more. You were always the leader of everyone, the silly one who made everyone laugh, the first to help with anything that was needed. You always thought of everyone else before you thought of yourself… A hero of Israel, a hero of the family and my own personal hero.”

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