Those we have lost

Staff Sgt. Neta Baram, 20: Animal lover was ‘salt of the earth’

Killed battling Hamas terrorists at the Nahal Oz IDF surveillance control center on Oct. 7

Sgt. Neta Baram (Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit).
Sgt. Neta Baram (Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit).

Staff Sgt. Neta Baram, 20, a surveillance balloon operator from Hadera, was killed by Hamas terrorists at the Nahal Oz IDF outpost on October 7.

During the onslaught, Hamas terrorists killed and captured more than 20 members of the Border Defense Corps’s 414th unit, of which Baram was a part, at the Nahal Oz base.

The soldiers of the unit are tasked with monitoring surveillance cameras along the Gaza border and dispatching forces to potential incidents.

Baram’s fate was unknown for four days, but his body was eventually found with four other soldiers inside a bomb shelter.

He was buried on October 12 in Hadera cemetery, and is survived by his parents Nirit and Liad, as well as two sisters Yaella and Noga.

“It was the five of them against dozens of Nukhba terrorists,” Neta’s father Liad Baram told Israel’s Kan radio in December.

חברים יקרים. זה סמל ראשון נטע ברעם, לוחם איסוף קרבי, מכ במוצב נחל עוז. חבר של ניקה שלי יותר משנה, בן בית אצלי. נפל ז"…

Posted by Irena Barats on Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Neta Baram’s girlfriend, Nika Barats, wrote on Instagram that her partner was “always looking for a way to laugh, always looking for a way to help, always looking for a way to love.”

“He loved to build with Lego,” she wrote, “even before it was trendy. He loved to go out in nature and travel. He loved his friends and his family more than anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Barats’s mother wrote on Facebook that Baram was “a charming, smart boy with a great sense of humor and endless love for my daughter.”

“He wanted to do so many things in life,” she wrote.

Baram also had a fondness for baked goods, as well as animals. After his death, his family organized a bake sale to raise money for a small shelter for local street cats.

“Neta loved animals very much and he had a special love for cats in particular,” his mother told local news outlets, adding that he had attempted to save injured cats on the street multiple times.

“Neta was a smart, witty person,” loved ones wrote on a memorial website. He loved “the land and he loved people. He was [true] salt of the earth.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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