Those We Have Lost

Rajesh Kumar Swarnakar, 25: Nepali student ‘was family’s hope’

Murdered by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Alumim on October 7

Rajesh Kumar Swarnakar (Facebook)
Rajesh Kumar Swarnakar (Facebook)

Rajesh Kumar Swarnakar, 25, a student from the village of Madhuwan in the Sunsari district of Nepal, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Alumim on October 7.

He was one of 10 Nepali agricultural students living and working on the kibbutz who were slain that day in the Hamas onslaught. When the air raid sirens began Saturday morning, the students ran toward the shelter as they had been told. But Hamas threw grenades inside the bomb shelter and shot at them, killing most.

“We started shouting ‘We are Nepali, we are Nepali’ but they didn’t listen to anyone, they just kept firing and threw two grenades into the bunker,” one of the survivors, KC Pramod, told the Guardian. “After that, the bunker was completely covered in blood.”

In early November, Rajesh’s body was returned to his family in Nepal for burial.

His friend, Vivek Mahato, wrote on Facebook: “My friend Rajesh Kumar Swarnakar has lost his life due to Palestinian attack in Israel’s Gaza area. I pray for the departed soul to rest in peace in this tragic moment and pray to God to give strength to the family.”

His family told Al Jazeera that Rajesh was planning to join the Nepalese civil service after he returned from his training in Israel.

His brother, Mukesh Swarnakar, told the news outlet that he had texted Rajesh on Friday and they’d made plans for a video call on Saturday, but “I never heard from him again.”

Mukesh said his brother was very smart, and “the only bad decision he made was going to Israel. He should have known it’s not safe, there were bunkers and there was conflict.”

Mukesh told The Guardian that his family did not receive word of his death for several days and that their mother had not stopped crying since she got the news.

“I am angry. Why was my brother sent to an area of conflict where he was not safe?” he said. “Nepali lives are seen as so cheap. For us he was the one who could earn money – he was the hope of the family.”

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