Those We Have Lost

Staff Sgt. Shirel Haim Pour, 20: Refused to leave war room till the end

Killed when Hamas terrorists overran the IDF Nahal Oz base on October 7

Staff Sgt. Shirel Haim Pour who was killed in Nahal Oz on October 7, 2023. (IDF)
Staff Sgt. Shirel Haim Pour who was killed in Nahal Oz on October 7, 2023. (IDF)

Staff Sgt. Shirel Haim Pour, 20, a soldier in the Gaza Division from Rishon Lezion, was killed when Hamas terrorists overran the Nahal Oz IDF base on October 7.

That weekend was meant to be her last one on base before she wrapped her up her military duty.

Haim Pour was not laid to rest until October 29, after her family waited in vain for news of her fate for several weeks. She was survived by her parents, Eli and Tzameret, and three older brothers, Barak, Netanel and Lior.

Her family said that Haim Pour was not on duty at the time of the onslaught, but chose anyway to head to the war room and help in sending out warnings: “On the 7th of October, on that black day, you chose to fight,” said her brother, Barak Haim Pour, at her funeral. “You chose to fight and carry out your mission instead of hide. You chose to help, and because of you and your work, the world gained many pure souls, but lost a pure soul that was like no other.”

Barak said that he would make sure the whole country knew about her bravery: “You fought until your last drop of blood in this war, and that’s the biggest sense of pride you can give your parents, your family and the nation.”

Hebrew media reports said those who were with Haim Pour inside the IDF base war room recounted that Hamas terrorists set it on fire to force them to flee, but that Shirel remained inside, refusing to leave.

Haim Pour’s family was of Iranian descent, and her death reverberated among some members of the Iranian diaspora and dissidents of the regime, in particular a clip of her grandfather, Rahamim, singing a traditional Persian wedding song next to her grave during her funeral.

Her cousin, Bat-El Galai, said at her funeral that the pair always acted more like identical twins than cousins: “People always said how much we looked alike, best friends, cousins, twins. You were my whole world. I always said that without you I don’t know where I would be today. So what will be with me now that you’re not here? You were a part of every decision, every dream, every thought. Everytime I cried you were my shoulder and I was yours… you’ll be my twin sister forever.”

“The most special girl in the world, the most beautiful, with the most beautiful eyes that nobody could stop looking at, we were meant to start our lives together, to reach our dreams that we’d dreamed about since we were little girls. You’re not here any longer and I’m supposed to keep living somehow,” she added. “You’ll be in my heart forever. Forever I will tell others about you and what you were to me.”

At her funeral, her boyfriend Ariel Ben-Ami said he could not stop thinking about the fact that Haim Pour always warned that a surprise attack from the enemy was likely, “and as always, you were right.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here. 

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