Those we have lost

Omer Gavra, 26: Shin Bet agent who loved extreme sports

Killed battling the Hamas invasion of southern Israel on October 7

Omer Gavra (Courtesy)
Omer Gavra (Courtesy)

Omer Gavra, 26, a Shin Bet agent from Gan Yavne, was killed on October 7 by Hamas terrorists while on his way to the front line to respond to the invasion.

At 7:45 that morning, about an hour after the terror onslaught began, Omer was summoned by the Shin Bet and asked to head toward the Netivot area, where he encountered a cell of terrorists and was killed.

He was buried on October 11 in Gan Yavne. He is survived by his parents, Amir and Michal, his brother Idan and his girlfriend of five years, Rotem Shahaf. The pair were living together on a small farm not far from Sderot, with their beloved dog Dobby.

On his gravestone his family engraved a sentence he had said just two weeks earlier at his grandfather’s funeral: “Our actions and our morals echo in this world forever and ever.” His brother and his cousin later tattooed the phrase in his memory.

During his mandatory IDF service, Omer served in the elite Maglan unit. After he was released, he worked as a personal trainer in Crossfit as well as a trainer for youth preparing for army combat roles. A lover of extreme sports, his Instagram page was a collage of snowboarding, skydiving, surfing and more, and he had a partnership with GoPro as a professional sports photographer.

According to a Shin Bet eulogy, he had begun his service with the agency just over a year before he was killed, in the security unit. “Even in his first steps as an employee, it was clear that he would grow and establish himself as a professional and quality security guard in the unit,” the agency said.

“Omer demonstrated maturity and seriousness, carried out everything assigned to him in the best possible way, demonstrated high self-discipline time and time again, aspired to learn, to improve, and volunteered for every request without hesitation,” the agency added.

At his funeral, his five close childhood friends — Matan, Gil, Omer, Yuval and Nadav — recalled how much “you made us laugh, you made us happy, how much you taught, pushed, loved, smiled, drove us crazy, all of the extreme sports, experiences, challenges and crises we went through together, and all of the firsts we experienced together — enlisting, high school, girlfriends, partners, celebrations and funerals, vacations. How much you instilled in us that the six of us were everything, were family.”

“Your smile, your optimism, your help in every situation will stay with us forever,” they added. “You were always the listening ear who we went to for advice, and you will always be a part of us. We were six and we will stay six, nobody can change that.”

Omer’s brother, Idan, wrote on Instagram that two months after he was killed, “Sometimes I feel that you are here with me, giving me strength and telling me to keep going as you always would.”

Rotem, Omer’s girlfriend, wrote that he was “without question my soulmate, which is like a best friend but more. And nothing in the world can change that.”

“I miss everything about you, the skydiving and the fun but also the arguments. Many times you believed in me more than I believed in myself… You taught me about generosity and love and I hope I can continue your path.”

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