ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 138

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Those We Have Lost

Yaniv, Yasmin, Keshet and Tehelet Zohar: News photographer, wife, daughters murdered

Killed in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, October 7, 2023, as their son escaped alive and survived

Yaniv Zohar, his wife Yasmin, and their two daughters, Keshet and Tehelet (Courtesy)
Yaniv Zohar, his wife Yasmin, and their two daughters, Keshet and Tehelet (Courtesy)

Yaniv Zohar, 54, a photographer for the Israel Hayom newspaper, was murdered by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7, 2023, along with his wife, Yasmin, 49, and his two daughters Keshet, 20, and Tehelet, 18.

Their 13-year-old son, Ariel, who had gone for an early-morning run, escaped alive. Yasmin’s father, Haim Livne, was also murdered in the attack.

“Yaniv was the first newsman to arrive at the scene of the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, and widely covered the Gaza disengagement. He was a wonderful friend, a devoted father, a man with heart and generosity,” Israel Hayom said in a statement.

“He would always run after the next frame, despite the difficult sights he was photographing,” the newspaper added.

Reporter Almog Boker eulogized his friend on X: “How much he loved the Gaza border towns, how much he loved Nahal Oz, how much he fought for his home. This dear and beloved man and talented photographer whose photos were broadcast around the world was murdered with his wife Yasmin and two daughters.”

Yaniv also worked in the past as a photographer for the AP news agency.

An online obituary described Yaniv as a “devoted and loving father,” and Yasmin as a “warrior mother.” Keshet was “smart, opinionated, sensitive and kind,” the eulogy reads, while Tehelet “was beautiful and an excellent student,” who had only just started a year of national service working with troubled youth.

Yasmin worked as an accountant and later moved to work in educational administration at the Sapir College, and was also pursuing a PhD at at Ben Gurion University in Beersheba which explored relationships between teachers and parents.

Her friend and fellow student Liron Motero told Ynet that they became the unlikeliest of friends during their studies: “I’m religious with a head covering, she’s a secular kibbutznik, but our connection was deep and our conversations diverged from studies and became deep conversations. On the one hand, she was very task-oriented but also spiritual.” Motero noted that a year before she was killed, Yasmin and her two daughters, Keshet and Tehelet, got matching tattoos of dragonflies, “which symbolized for her the harmony between the physical and heavenly worlds.”

Keshet’s teacher, Limor Moshe, who guided her at a school in Ashkelon that prepared youth with special needs for army or national service, described her as the “energy of the class, the light of the class, she always joined people together… despite the difficulties she had, she never gave up and would always take to heart suggestions and comments she received.”

Tehelet’s former counselors in her youth group, Gaya and Naomi, described her as “talented and caring, a leader of the group and the campers, a wonderful counselor who truly loved her charges. She was smart and a leader, and a partner you could rely on.”

At their funeral in Rishon Lezion on October 17, the four bodies of Yaniv, Yasmin, Keshet and Tehelet lay side by side, as Ariel, 13, watched his entire family be buried.

Shuval Cohen, the couple’s niece, eulogized them in tears: “Where to begin? My Yanivi, the cool uncle. The talented photographer. Thank you that I had the privilege of being your first niece. Yasmini, you always brought everyone together. I remember the fairies you used to bring me as a child.”

“My Keshet, my beloved cousin, my soulmate, you were the sun for everyone. My Keshet, how much I was thinking about you on that terrible Saturday. My beloveds, amid all this tragedy there was also a visible miracle. Your Arieli survived. I promise to watch over him, to raise him as my little brother. Rest in peace, and come to us in our dreams. We’ll take care of everything else.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here. 

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