Those We Have Lost

Shahaf Krief, 17: Horse-loving high schooler and doting uncle

Murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Zikim Beach on October 7

Shahaf Krief (Courtesy)
Shahaf Krief (Courtesy)

Shahaf Krief, 17, of Moshav Gilat, was murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Zikim Beach on October 7.

He was at the beach with his new girlfriend, Alina Vaisberg, 17, who was also murdered that day.

When the rockets started flying, the couple hid in a public bathroom on the beach along with other teens — including Or Tasa — before they realized that Hamas terrorists were infiltrating the beach and shooting civilians. Krief managed to send a short video from the bathroom to his friends, in which loud gunfire can be heard just outside.

His father tried to head to the beach to find him but was turned back by security forces. By the time he made it to the scene, the only thing he found there was his son’s abandoned car.

Shahaf’s body was found and identified only several days later, and he was buried on October 12 in Gilat.

He is survived by his parents, Shlomi and Rita, and his three older siblings Inbar, Shai and Shontal.

Shahaf was a senior at the Rabin High School in Beersheba when he was killed. He grew up on the family’s horse farm and was an avid horse lover and very active in the stables. He also spent a great deal of time at Zikim Beach and loved to hang out there with friends until the early morning hours.

“He was my right-hand man in the stables,” his father, Shlomi, told Channel 14 in an interview several months after his death. “That was his dream, that he’d have his own stables, and he could raise horses.”

Since he was murdered, the site has become a memorial to their beloved son.

“This is what he loved,” his mother, Rita, told the TV station. “Someone needs to continue in his path.”

Shlomi told a local Beersheba news site that on what would have been his 18th birthday in January, hundreds of his loved ones went to his gravesite and then marched together to the stables in his memory.

Since his death, his parents said, they have been unable to return to their lives and to recover from the shocking loss.

“Even though I was the one who identified his body, and I was the one who buried him, I still expect him to knock on the door and come in,” said his father. “I’m hoping for him to even show up in my dreams because he just disappeared.”

Shlomi said Shahaf was always looking out for others, recalling how he met a boy along the beach one time and offered to throw him a bar mitzvah party there with horses and motorcycles to make him happy, and how he would bring troubled youth to the stables to try and give them structure and responsibility.

Shahaf doted on his nieces and nephews, he said, “and would drop them off and pick them up from school and take care of them. Now I can’t stop spoiling them, because I know how much he loved them.”

“This is a boy who schooled me and taught me how to behave,” Shlomi said of his son. “I could never say no to him. When he was 10 he wrote a whole post [online] about how you shouldn’t ostracize other kids and you always have to help kids in trouble. He was only 10, and he cared so much.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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