Sgt. Maj. (res.) Reouven Chicheportiche, 38, was killed in battle against Hamas terrorists in Moshav Pri Gan in Israel’s South on October 7, 2023.
He is survived by his wife Sofia, their children, Be’er, Shaked, Eitan Chaim and Sinai, as well as his parents and five siblings. He was born in France and in 1992 made aliya as a child with his family.
On the morning of October 7, when thousands of Hamas terrorists streamed into Israel from Gaza and massacred some 1,200 Israelis and took a further 253 captive, Chicheportiche was in his home in the small southern Israeli town of Shlomit.
As rockets rained down overhead, the members of Shlomit’s security team quickly became aware that a group of around 10 terrorists had entered the neighboring town of Pri Gan and the local security team was severely overpowered.
According to his fellow security team members, who spoke to Israel’s Channel 13 in a November 1 interview, Chicheportiche was in the second group of Shlomit security officers to join the fray in Pri Gan.
At that point, the Hamas terrorists had already broken into four homes with the intent to murder those living inside.
“We got to Pri-Gan, and at a certain point we realized they had opened fire on us,” Yehuda Rabinovich, who arrived in the same group as Chicheportiche, told Channel 13. “We realized the situation was dire.”
Soon, two more members of the Shlomit security team arrived. They joined the fierce battle, against terrorists armed with Kalashnikovs and grenades, and quickly overpowered Chicheportiche’s crew.
“Aviad and I got close [to the battle], and we see Reouven right away,” Shlomit security team member Oz Glick told Channel 13. “‘Come!’ he roared at us, ‘There are terrorists here, we have wounded, run!’ Screaming, roaring. And you understand, if he’s roaring, you need to run.”
Soon after, Reouven and his close friend Aviad were both fatally shot by Hamas terrorists. The few members of the team who were not killed or wounded continued fighting, calling desperately for IDF military support that never came.
After some time, the terrorists fled the scene, realizing that it would not be a simple operation to overtake Pri Gan. Only once they had left did IDF soldiers arrive.
The team successfully saved Pri Gan from being the site of another October 7 massacre, but they lost four of their members including Chicheportiche, and another four were wounded.
Chicheportiche is remembered as a hero by his family and community, who told Channel 13 that it brought them a measure of comfort to know that Reouven’s sacrifice saved the entire town of Pri Gan as well as the surrounding towns, as the terrorists did not continue their rampage after fleeing.
Oz Shoshan, a fellow member of the Shlomit security team, said that Chicheportiche “was a person that, at any given time you could call him up and say, ‘Reouven, I’m stuck on something…’ and he would answer, ‘Okay, I’m on my way.'”
“Reouven is [all] heart ” Benny Meshulem, IDF security coordinator for Shlomit security team, told Channel 13. “He was the heart of the yishuv. He would always talk about the State of Israel, how much he loved the land, how much he loved everything here.”
“It was obvious that if something happened, he couldn’t possibly stay behind. That’s not Reouven,” said Meshulem.