Those We Have Lost

Sgt. Reem Batito, 19: Warrior who ‘fought until his last moment’

Killed battling Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Kissufim on October 7

Sgt. Reem Batito who was killed in Kibbutz Kissufim on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)
Sgt. Reem Batito who was killed in Kibbutz Kissufim on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)

Sgt. Reem Meir Batito, 19, a Golani soldier from Netanya, was killed on October 7 battling Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Kissufim.

He was buried on October 11 in Netanya. He is survived by his parents, Dikla and Tamir, his younger half-siblings Adele and Lavi, and his stepfather, Ofir Danino, and stepbrother Shahaf.

His family recalled him as an excellent student, devoted to the State of Israel, who loved to play basketball and also found time to study robotics and play the trombone.

His mother recorded her final conversation with him around 5 p.m. on that Saturday, as he described the battle in Kissufim and told her in a shaky voice that he was awaiting further orders. “Are you with other soldiers?” his mother asks.

“What’s left,” he replies.

“What does that mean, ‘What’s left?’ Are there a lot who are killed, wounded?” she replied.

“There is no shortage [of people killed],” he responded, later adding: “I love you, and I’m sorry if I ever hurt you… You don’t understand what’s happening here. I just wanted to tell you I love you if something happens.”

“He called, I believe because he knew deep down that he wasn’t coming home from that day,” Dikla told the Kan public broadcaster.

“Reem was a warrior who until his very last moment fought like a tiger,” his stepfather Ofir told the TV station.

At his funeral, Dikla said her son was “a hero of Israel. I want to say thank you, thank you for granting me the title Mom.”

His father, Tamir, told a local Haifa radio station, “I have a hole in my heart that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to fill,” later writing on social media: “He was a hero of Israel… We will never be parted. We will never forget you. I’ll never forget your smile.”

Reem’s friend Stav Shahar, who was a counselor at his high school dormitory, tattooed an image of an Oryx (the meaning of the Hebrew word “Reem”) on his arm in his memory, describing him in an Instagram post as “sharp and bright, irrationally smart with solid and well-formed opinions in all areas of life.”

“Reem taught me so much, every time anew,” wrote Shahar. “And I tried to teach and to direct him from time to time based on the few advanced years I have on him, but truthfully most of the time it felt that he was the responsible adult between us.”

“On October 7, just a moment before he was killed in battle, we arranged to meet at the assembly area, and I know that if he wasn’t physically there, he was with me there,” Shahar added. “Reem was my little brother in every way, and he always will be.”

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