Those we have lost

Sgt. Habib Kiean, 21: Bedouin Golani soldier who loved video games

Killed battling Hamas at the Paga IDF outpost next to Gaza on October 7

Sgt. Habib Kiean (IDF)
Sgt. Habib Kiean (IDF)

Sgt. Habib Kiean, 21, a Golani soldier from the Bedouin town of Hura in the south, was killed on October 7 battling Hamas terrorists near the Nahal Oz outpost.

Habib and his fellow soldiers in Golani’s 13th battalion were on a routine patrol of the border that Saturday morning when the Hamas invasion began. When the rocket fire started, the troops returned to the bomb shelter at the small Paga IDF outpost right next to the border, before they realized that Hamas terrorists had invaded the base.

Habib was wounded in the fighting against Hamas, and his comrade Sgt. Ido Binenstock, a paramedic, was trying to treat him when he was also shot and killed.

They and 11 others from the 13th battalion — including the outpost commander, Cpt. Dekel Suissa — were killed at the Paga outpost battling more than 50 Hamas terrorists that day, with just 13 out of 26 soldiers who were stationed there that day surviving.

His family said that the commander of Golani’s 13th battalion, Lt. Col. Tomer Grinberg, called them with condolences after Habib’s death, and promised to visit them in Hura when he was able. Grinberg was killed in battle in Gaza on December 12.

Habib is survived by his parents, Hanan and Musa, and his 11 siblings: Bassem, Shafeeq, Hamud, Shira, Nur, Mahmad, Suheib, Yazan, Yafa, Maisam and Arakan. He was buried on October 11 in Hura.

According to Army Radio, he was a dedicated video game player, “whose smile never left his face,” and could always be found playing FIFA, Fortnite or Grand Theft Auto until the early hours of the morning, “leaving the screen only to eat steak or mansaf.”

Haggai Reznik, head of the Rifman Institute calling for Bedouin partnerships, as well as a Defense Ministry liasion, wrote on Facebook that he paid a condolence visit to Habib’s family, who told him “take a photo and write that we are proud to be part of the Golani family.”

His friend Maor Dichter wrote online that Habib was a “man, friend, partner in action and success and above all a person who proved to everyone that despite coming from Hura — from the Bedouin community which does not encourage army service — he enlisted in Golani… Habib, I promise that I will forever tell [everyone] how much good you brought to this world.”

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