Those we have lost

Maj. Chen Bouchris, 26: Modest warrior who had ‘incredible impact’

Killed battling Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7

Maj. Chen Bouchris who was killed in Nahal Oz on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)
Maj. Chen Bouchris who was killed in Nahal Oz on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)

Maj. Chen Bouchris, 26, deputy commander of the elite Maglan commando unit, was killed fighting terrorists in southern Israel on October 7.

He was buried in the military cemetery in Ashdod on October 9. He is survived by his parents, Osnat and Nissim and his older brothers, Chaim, Shalom, Liel and Masada.

His brother Shalom told the Ynet news outlet that the two “were the best of friends.”

“Both of us really love sport. The teachers at school got five brothers, and each time they saw the version get better until they got to Chen,” said his brother, also a major in the army.

The two brothers both joined the Patratrooper Brigade for their army service, though Shlomo started four years before Chen arrived.

He said that after Chen was consistently recognized for his excellence as a soldier, including during his officer training. It was his impressive service record that landed him the role of deputy commander of Maglan at the relatively young age of 26.

“We would joke that if only it would work out some time that I would be his commander,” Shlomo said. “He never understood that I was prepared for him to be my commander.”

“He had a different kind of humility, a reverence for every human being he touched,” he said. “He would always be at the point of most friction, learn the most complex things, always go to the most demanding units, but pleasantly, quietly, without a fuss. It seems like opposites, but with him, it was in perfect harmony.”

He described his brother as making “an incredible impact” on the people he met during his life.

“Chen always did great things without a fuss and without stories, so I know that… his presence in the world will be strong because of the way he touched people and because of the way he was and who he was,” he said.

Chen was in Ashdod when the Hamas attack began with a massive barrage of rockets that set off sirens across Israel. He immediately made his way to his base, and from there headed south to the combat zone. Shlomo likewise traveled south with some other officers.

The two brothers stayed in contact during the morning, updating each other on the fighting, until Chen said he was heading to Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Chen sent WhatsApp messages to other soldiers in his unit to let them know where the terrorists were located.

At the kibbutz, Chen and the soldiers he was with encountered a group of seven terrorists, killing five of them. During the exchange of fire, Chen and another soldier were killed.

In a twist of fate, as Chen’s body was being transported away from the combat zone, the vehicle carrying him encountered his brother. When those around Shlomo prevented him from opening the doors to look inside, he understood that it was his brother who had died.

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