Staff Sgt. Aner Elyakim Shapiro, 22, an unarmed off-duty soldier from an elite unit within the Nahal Brigade, was killed while attending the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im on October 7.
Shapiro protected a packed public bomb shelter by throwing outside hand grenades terrorists had tossed in to kill those huddled inside.
“Aner Shapiro… saved our lives and he deserves a a medal of honor for being an angel who guarded us,” wrote attack survivor Agam in a Facebook post. Agam, who was herself injured as she crouched inside the doorless shelter, said that when the terrorists first approached, Shapiro declared his intention to block the grenade attacks and rallied others to help him.
According to reports, Shapiro fended off seven hand grenades until an eighth fatally wounded him. At least seven of those who had taken refuge inside the shelter survived.
Shapiro grew up in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem.
His great-grandfather was Haim Moshe Shapiro (also spelled Shapira), a former Israeli lawmaker and minister who was a signatory of Israel’s Declaration of Independence. Shapiro was seriously injured when a Jewish immigrant, Moshe Dwek, threw a grenade into the Knesset plenum hall in 1957.