Those we have lost

Staff Sgt. Adi Danan, 20: Squad commander with ‘sparkling eyes’

Killed fighting against Hamas in the northern Gaza Strip on October 31

Staff Sgt. Adi Danan (Courtesy)
Staff Sgt. Adi Danan (Courtesy)

Staff Sgt. Adi Danan, 20, a squad commander in the Givati Brigade’s Tzabar Battalion, from Yavne, was killed battling Hamas terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip on October 31.

Adi was among 11 soldiers from the same battalion who were killed when a Namer armored personnel carrier they were in was hit by an anti-tank guided missile fired by Hamas, the IDF said.

He is survived by his parents, Vered and Yaniv Reuven, his twin sister Linoy and younger sister Lior. He was buried on November in Yavne.

Friends and family said Adi loved to play basketball, work out at the gym, and was highly driven to join an IDF combat unit.

Shir Levi, Adi’s aunt, told the Walla news outlet that he “was all heart. He had sparkling eyes like jewels, just like his name. He was always loving and hugging and was there for others.” He and his twin sister, she said, “were the best of friends in the world, he would always protect her and also his younger sister.”

Shir said nobody in the family saw Adi between October 7 — the start of the war — and when he was killed. He celebrated his 20th birthday on October 8, she said, and a few days before he was killed “he texted that he would stay safe and that he loved everyone.” In their final text exchange, she said, Adi wrote: “Don’t worry, our victory is already here — I promise you.”

Speaking to Channel 14 news, Adi’s mother, Vered, said he was “a boy with a wide heart, sensitive, he was loved by everyone and was a good friend. He was known for his big smile and his rolling laughter — and his shining and good eyes.”

Vered said Adi “loved music, he loved to sing in all sorts of languages even when he didn’t understand a word he was saying.” Her son was “Zionist, moral, he loved his homeland, he loved this country and he wanted to fight for it.”

She read on air from a final letter that Adi wrote to his father not long before he was killed: “Dad, I know you’ll tell me I’m an idiot and why am I writing things like this but ultimately I don’t decide what will be there — I’ll be the most careful I can be… I love you on a level you don’t even understand, and I ask you, as a request from me, watch over the family, be there for whoever needs you, put a smile on and lift up the family because you are its heart.”

In an interview with Channel 13 news, Adi’s twin sister, Linoy, said he was “the light of the house, he was a mama’s boy, he was spoiled, he had a wide smile — he always helped everyone.”

Linoy said they fought all the time as children, but would always make up. In later years, “we moved on from hitting each other to telling stories and sitting and talking, and I’m the most proud of him in the world.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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