Those We Have Lost

Samar Talalka, 24: Motorcycle lover who was slated to get married

Kidnapped by Hamas on October 7; accidentally slain by IDF troops in Gaza on December 15

Samar Fouad Talalka (Courtesy)
Samar Fouad Talalka (Courtesy)

Samar Fouad Talalka, 24, was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from Kibbutz Nir Am on October 7 and taken hostage in Gaza.

On December 15, IDF troops operating in Gaza mistook him and two other hostages for terrorists and opened fire, killing all three.

Talalka, who was working the weekend shift at the kibbutz’s hatchery at the time of the Hamas onslaught, hailed from the Bedouin town of Hura. He is survived by his father, Fouad, who also worked on the kibbutz, and his mother, Leila, who is a teacher, as well as his nine younger siblings.

He was described as a motorcyle lover who was slated to get married and build his own family soon.

“I’m devastated to receive him lifeless,” his father Fouad told Ynet. “We were waiting for him to fulfill all his dreams. His death broke me… We sat for days in fear and waited to hear his voice until the day we were informed that he had been killed.”

His father told The New York Times that Samar was “beloved by everyone,” adding: “He wasn’t just my son, he was my friend. He didn’t hide things from me, and any problems he had, he would come to me for us to talk about them.”

Wahid Ahoziil, a local organizer from the Bedouin city of Rahat, said after the kidnapping that Samar is “a great guy… he wants to make an honest living.”

His cousin, Alaa Talalka, told Channel 14 news that Samar was a “nice guy, sociable, with a sense of humor — a guy who was always fun to sit with, to hang out with, just to be around.”

Alaa said they heard from freed hostages that Samar “served as a translator between the kidnappers and the Israeli hostages, and this really characterized him, because he always tried to help others, always tried to share affection and spread friendliness… He was so close to freedom. He was so close to getting out of there.”

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