ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Those We Have Lost

Staff Sgt. Tomer Ahimas, 20: ‘Hero’ soldier slain in battle at Nirim

Killed fighting Hamas on October 7 and his body taken captive; declared dead on November 28

Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas (IDF)
Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas (IDF)

Staff Sgt. Tomer Yaakov Ahimas, 20, a signals soldier for the Gaza Division’s Southern Brigade chief, from Lehavim, was slain fighting Hamas on October 7 near Kibbutz Nirim.

His body was taken captive to Gaza, and the IDF determined on November 28 that he had been killed and that a funeral could be held.

His brothers told Kan public radio that he and two other IDF soldiers arrived at Nirim and entered into a gun battle with dozens of Hamas terrorists. When the Brigade chief, Col. Asaf Hamami, was wounded, “Tomer sort of took control and led the battle against an unimaginable amount of terrorists, while he tried to care for the brigade chief and radio for help several times.”

They said that residents of Nirim told them that were it not for the bravery of Ahimas, Hamami and Sgt. Kiril Brodski, “The kibbutz would have absorbed an even greater tragedy than it did that Saturday.”

A funeral was held for him in Lehavim on November 29, 54 days after he was killed. He is survived by his parents, Moshe and Anat, and his siblings Maya, Gil, Eyal, and his twin brother Amir, as well as his girlfriend Shay-li Hen.

At his funeral, his older brother Eyal noted, “You never once needed me to protect you, you were always able to manage on your own. I am sorry Tomer, that the one time in your life that you needed, I wasn’t there to protect you.”

“I was privileged that you rejoiced with me at my wedding, but you won’t get to meet your nephew,” he added. “I promise that he will know who his Uncle Tomer was. I got to see you grow up to be the smartest, most sensitive and kind troublemaker… you will always remain Tomer the smart, the handsome, with the captivating smile. I miss you endlessly.”

Sister Maya noted at the funeral that Tomer and his twin Amir “were inseparable, always together. This is the first time that you were really parted, each one in his own way, each one into combat. The fear that something would happen to you accompanied me always, the fear that you wouldn’t stay together anymore.”

His girlfriend, Shay-li, said at his funeral, “I thought we would be together forever, but I didn’t think that forever was so close. You are a ray of light on a dark day, the most loving embrace, my morning, afternoon and night… every ‘good morning’ from you made my morning truly better.

“You always said that I taught you how to love, but you taught me what true love is,” she added. “We were together for nine months, and each day was better than the last… I fell in love with your laugh, your cynicism, the way you saw things. The fact that you had an answer for every one of my questions, that you stood for what you believed in, your persistence in wearing soccer t-shirts everywhere.

“You are my hero, you changed me, you supported me, you made me a better person,” she said.

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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