ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Those We Have Lost

Rajan Phulara, 23: Nepali intern hoped to put studies to use at home

Murdered by Hamas terrorists at Kibbutz Alumim on October 7

Rajan Phulara (Facebook)
Rajan Phulara (Facebook)

Rajan Phulara, 23, who hailed from the Shikhar municipality in the Doti district of Nepal, was murdered by Hamas terrorists on Kibbutz Alumim on October 7.

Phulara had arrived in Israel not long before he was killed as part of the “learn and earn” yearlong internship, where he and other participants would study agriculture on the kibbutz while earning money to send back to their loved ones. Hamas terrorists killed 10 Nepali nationals during the murderous onslaught.

His body was sent back to Nepal for burial on November 5. Survivors said Phulara and several other Nepali interns sought safety in a bomb shelter when the rocket sirens sounded, and Hamas murdered several of them inside the shelter.

Survivor Dhanbahadur Chaudhari told the Guardian that the terrorists threw grenades inside the bunker and fired volleys of bullets: “When I woke up I was covered in blood and I could see my friends dead and injured around me. One friend didn’t have legs, another didn’t have hands. There were dead bodies of my friends in the door of the bunker.”

According to the Nepali Times, Phulara had a BSc in agriculture from Sudur Paschim University and had hoped to return home after his studies and get a job with the civil service.

He was an only son to his parents, his cousin, Hemraj, told Al Jazeera, and they took his death extremely hard. Hemraj said the couple wanted to jump into a nearby river and drown after they heard the news.

“The villagers spotted them and forcefully brought them back home,” said Hemraj.

His uncle, Rajendra Phulara, told Nepali Times that he had spoken to his nephew about a week before he was slain. His nephew said, “I’m going to learn new things here but I will implement them in my country, after my civil service exam,” he recounted.

Rajendra said that during their video call, Rajan turned the camera and showed his uncle how close Gaza was to the kibbutz, telling him: “That right there is Gaza… There can be an attack any time, we have been told to seek shelter in a bunker if there is one.”

On Facebook, his friend Talak Jung wrote: “Dear brother, your memory
will never fade — rest in peace.”

The high school he attended in Kathmandu, LRI School, wrote that it was “deeply saddened” by his death, which has “left behind an irreparable loss.”

His family members noted that his father had gone into heavy debt to finance his son’s studies and travels, hoping that he would return home and get a high-paying job to ease their financial troubles.

His cousin, Hemraj, said that “before he left for Israel, he told me all their problems would be over soon.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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