Nitzan Libstein, 19, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7.
He was the son of Ofir Libstein, head of the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, who was killed fighting the terrorist invasion as a member of the kibbutz’s local security team. Ofir’s death was confirmed quickly and his body recovered, but the Libstein family searched desperately for news about Nitzan for 12 days, hoping he would be found wounded or even kidnapped before they were ultimately informed of his death.
“I can’t believe that 48 hours later we’re back in the same place, with a heart in even more pain,” Nitzan’s mother, Vered, said at his funeral, held two days after Ofir’s ceremony. “You were a child full of heart, the first to lend a hand when help was needed.”
Vered described the horrible moments as the family tried to hide from terrorists in Kfar Aza: “I’m sorry we left you alone against the murderers,” she said, according to Ynet, of Nitzan, who was in the kibbutz’s youth living quarters when the assault began.
“You were wounded and you made yourself a tourniquet, and even then you held onto the door of the safe room,” she continued. “We asked them to come rescue you and they never came. My survivor, I can’t believe your journey ends here. Thank you that I was your mother. Watch over dad up above.”
Hadas Ragolsky, a family friend, wrote that she knew Nitzan from the day he was born: “Little one, who for a while now has not been little, but would still smile bashfully when someone would call you that. Your mother, Vered… said she relied so much on your resourcefulness, even though you were the one with fears of what was to come after you were caught in a mortar attack as a child. You managed to overcome and became a promising young man — you were supposed to enlist in the IDF right now, which will no longer happen.”
Stav Guy Ben Shabat, who used to work at the school Nitzan attended, lamented the promising life cut short.
“If only everyone could have known Nitzan,” she wrote. “If only everyone could have known this boy, who wasn’t afraid of his fears, who wanted to overcome them. If only you could have all known Nitzan, a boy who came to work on himself and emerged larger than life, a model for self-improvement.”
“If only you could all have seen and heard your stubbornness, your refusal to accept half-explanations, your ability to drive the person in front of you crazy in the name of justice,” she added. “If only everyone could have known Nitzan. You should have known him, he should have been our prime minister in just a few more years… if only this sweet child had received a different ending.”