Just 10 days before her 32nd birthday on October 7, Kibbutz Holit resident Tehila Katabi was murdered by Hamas terrorists in her home.
She is survived by her parents, Daniel and Rachel Katabi, and siblings Elinor, Yarden, Topaz and Lior. Her funeral was held in Gedera Cemetery on October 11.
Katabi moved to the kibbutz from her birthplace Gedera to live with her boyfriend and his dog, Luka. Out of the house at the time, her boyfriend was spared from the attack.
“We were on a video call with her when it happened and suddenly she just disappeared,” said her family in a statement to a local paper. “We didn’t understand what was happening at that moment. The only fear was that some missile wouldn’t fall there. Who would have thought? Who would have believed?”
According to her sister, Katabi especially loved hikes and animals, and nature was an integral part of her life. Even now, she told Israel’s Army Radio, Tehila must be sitting under a tree with friends or running barefoot in the fields.
Katabi went to school in Gedera, graduating from its regional high school, and attended Tel Hai Academic College in Israel’s north.
“My heart is torn. I send my condolences from the bottom of my heart to the Katabi family, my dear Daniel and Rachel, for the loss of their beloved daughter Tehila, who was murdered during the cursed surprise attack on Kibbutz Holit,” said Yoel Gamliel, the head of Gedera’s regional council.
The couple’s dog Luka was alongside Katabi at the time of the attack but survived and was found in a nearby car by the army two days later in a malnourished state. After being taken to a veterinarian, Luka was reunited with her grieving owner.
“There are no words in the world that can describe what kind of person you were,” wrote Katabi’s sister, Yarden Vanzovski, on Facebook. “And there are no words to describe the huge void you left for us. We love you and miss you. The pain doesn’t stop, you were a point of light in every dark place! You were so happy with your lover, you didn’t deserve it.”