Those We Have Lost

Sgt. Aviv Hajaj, 19: Observation soldier who was filled with joy

Killed by Hamas terrorists who overran the Nahal Oz IDF outpost on October 7

Sgt. Aviv Hajaj, who was killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)
Sgt. Aviv Hajaj, who was killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)

Sgt. Aviv Hajaj, 19, an observation soldier in the Border Defense Corps’ 414th unit, from Gilat, was killed by Hamas terrorists at the Nahal Oz surveillance outpost on October 7.

In a phone call with her family early that Saturday, Aviv described rocket fire, gunfire and yelling on the base. At 7:38, she messaged her mother, telling her that “please God” everything would be okay. That was the last contact she had with her family.

Four days later, they got the news that she had been killed. She was buried on October 11 in Gilat.

She is survived by her parents, Mira and Pinhas, and four siblings, Avia, Itay, Ofir and Itamar.

Soldiers in Gaza shared photos and videos on the page of Israeli flags with Aviv’s name on them as they dedicated their fighting to her.

Speaking to an online memorial project, Mira described her daughter as talented, modest, noble, good-hearted and helpful.

“She was sensitive to the needs of others and took care of her loved ones even in her final moments in which she asked about her family members in some of her final messages,” Mira said.

Aviv’s friends and family set up an Instagram page in her memory, writing that she “spread light in every place she went” and she was full of “the most joy in the world.”

“You spread so much joy, and we will never stop spreading your light,” they wrote.

They added that she had faith and trust in God until her last moment, sharing a photo of books of Psalms that the family had printed in Aviv’s memory.

Aviv’s cousin, Hadar, said she had been “a happy girl with a huge heart who only wanted to help her fellow soldiers.”

Hadar shared two examples of Aviv’s desire to help, saying that when she was given a day off from the army for a family event, she insisted on going back to base as soon as the event ended so that no one would have to cover for her. In another case, Hadar said Aviv made sure to replace a fellow soldier’s lost sweater with exactly the one she had lost.

Aviv’s friend Tair shared that she was “an incredible friend who always gave the right advice and refused to gossip.”

“I always told Aviv that she was an angel-shaped girl, but I didn’t want it to actually happen,” she wrote.

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