Shiraz Brodash, 23, from Ramot Meir, and Police Master Sgt. Avshalom Peretz, 27, from Netivot, were killed together on October 7 in southern Israel.
According to accounts from family and friends, Peretz, an officer in the Yamam counter-terror unit, had been called up to the front line, and was taking his girlfriend Brodash home first to safety before going to fight. Neither of them ever made it. Accounts varied as to whether the couple was killed by a rocket impact or a grenade.
Yarin Abu, Peretz’s friend and brother-in-law, memorialized his friend as “our Yamam fighter, the pride of our family who has become the pride of the nation.”
Abu wrote on Facebook that Peretz “was called up Saturday morning to the unit you were so proud to serve in. Half the country was sleeping and had no idea what was happening, and you were on the way to your team. To protect us.” He said that Peretz was always modest about his security service, “because that’s who you were, bashful to an annoying degree — you had so much modesty and humility.”
Yael Yaakobi, Peretz’s aunt, recalled him as “our protector… our prince… our hero.”
“A deep hole has been opened in my heart that will never heal,” Yaakobi wrote on social media. “You played with everyone, you taught everyone, you were a friend, a brother, an uncle and most of all my beloved nephew… shy, with smiling eyes, a huge heart.”
Brodash was an athlete and personal trainer who had previously competed nationally as a 100m. sprinter, and won a national youth championship in 2018.
Her aunt, Sarit Hadad, said she was heartbroken “that I will never see your smile again, which radiated such love.”
“How can the world go on without your heart and your generosity?” Hadad wrote on Facebook. “Who will train with such love and dedication all the trainees you loved so much?” Hadad said that Brodash had “found the love of your life — an angel just like you — and on Saturday you returned together to heaven… we awoke to a black reality that we will have to turn into color… how do we go on from here? How?”
Hadad said that Brodash “cooked from the heart, trained from the heart, gave from the heart and entered so deeply into all of our hearts. That’s why our hearts are so broken. My love, I feel like a piece of my body has been physically torn away.”
Brodash’s friend Linoy Barlev said she couldn’t come to terms with the news of her death, writing on Instagram that she had pictured instead her being kidnapped “and trying to cheer up the people around you and give them hope — because that’s who you were!”
Barlev wrote that Brodash was “one big light, and the most optimistic girl I have ever met… you always knew how to compliment me and cheer me up when I needed you. Everywhere you went you brought joy with you, and you could make me laugh for hours!” She said that Brodash had told her excited about dating Peretz, “all of your plans for the future with Avshalom, the ring you picked out… two angels, now you are together up there watching over us from above.”
Last year, Brodash dedicated a post on Facebook to her mother after she had recovered from brain surgery: “My heroic mother, who went through a turbulent time in which she and I experienced the hardest situation we’ve ever had in life, when she was in life-threatening danger — everything else suddenly took on different proportions. Hug your loved ones and appreciate every little thing in life.”