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Elad Katzir

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Elad Katzir is a cherished son, brother, and uncle deeply rooted in the fabric of Kibbutz Nir Oz’s community. Born to Hannah and Avraham Rami Katzir, he grew up alongside his two sisters, Avital and Carmit, and is the proud uncle to his six nephews, aged 4 to 22. Elad's life in Nir Oz is marked by his unwavering commitment to the community, where he has played significant roles over the past 25 years, including his tenure on the kibbutz secretariat.
Elad is a man of the soil, working in agriculture out of a deep love for the land of the country. In every round of conflict and security tension, he goes out to work the kibbutz fields near Gaza without fear, asserting, "This is our land and this is our food we grow".
Elad is one of the kibbutz's most active members; volunteering, hosting events, and helping in any way possible. He is a beloved figure, both in the kibbutz and by his nephews, whom he takes for walks in the fields, teaching them about edible herbs and flowers, picking pomegranates with them, and taking them to the football games of his favorite team, Maccabi Haifa. His sisters call him a "noble uncle," explaining that he acted as an uncle not just to his biological nephews but also to many other children in the kibbutz.
A dedicated supporter of social initiatives, Elad dedicates his time to the Hadar Goldin Foundation, actively campaigning for the return of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, two soldiers whose remains have been held by Hamas in Gaza since 2014. Elad's "Friday Afternoon Parliament" gatherings are a testament to his zest for life, where friends join him for beer and conversation. Alongside his many activities, in recent years, Elad has devoted his energy to caring for his parents, Hannah and Rami, due to their declining health.

Despite suffering significant hearing loss from his military service in a combat unit, Elad's spirit remains unbroken. He has previously survived an attack on the kibbutz, demonstrating courage and resilience by assisting others in need. These experiences, however, have left a profound impact, necessitating ongoing emotional support.
The tragic events of Saturday, October 7th, when Hamas terrorists attacked southern Israel, have cast a shadow over Elad's vibrant life. His father, Rami, was murdered in a safe room by Hamas terrorists during the assault, which also saw Elad and his mother, Hanna, taken hostage to Gaza. In his final communication before the abduction, Elad conveyed the dire situation to his sister, highlighting the immediate threat within their home.
Months later, Elad was seen in a video posted by the Hamas organization. In the video, Elad is standing, thin and gaunt. He expresses his condolences for the family of his good friend, Tamir Adar, who was murdered by Hamas during the massacre. Afterward, he addresses the Security Cabinet, pleading for his return home.
Elad’s mother, Hanna Katzir, was released from captivity under a temporary ceasefire agreement in late November. Upon her return to Israel, she was urgently hospitalized due to severe medical complications. As these lines are written, Elad Katzir remains in captivity, with his family, community, and the nation at large holding onto hope for his safe and imminent return.
The anticipation of Elad's return home continues to unite all who know him. The day when the "rebirth kit" - a kit filled with whatever Elad’s sisters could salvage from his home in Nir Oz - can finally be handed to him, would mark the beginning of healing.

On Saturday, April 6, 2024, Carmit Palty Katzir announced that her family had received the devastating news that Elad was murdered in captivity. Carmit shared that the body of Elad was retrieved from the Gaza Strip in a daring operation and brought to Israel. "We received difficult news. Elad was brought to Israel tonight, after being murdered in captivity. In the horrible reality of our lives, this too is a consolation. Elad will have a grave in Nir Oz. We will not remain in uncertainty." Carmit sharply criticized the government's handling of the situation: "He could have been saved if a deal had taken place in time. Our leadership is cowardly and motivated by political considerations, and so it did not happen. Elad may be officially recognized as a victim of hostile acts, but the precise term is 'victim of neglectful acts'. He was abandoned on October 7 and was neglected for 183 days in captivity, during which he could have been brought back alive."

Carmit concludes her statement with a eulogy for her beloved brother:
“Elad, may your memory be of laughter, hugs, and joy, of fields and soil. This is not how your story and ours should have ended.
Sorry we couldn't save you.
Loving you forever, Carmen."

Honor the memory of Elad
Elad was kidnapped by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization, and later his family was informed that he was murdered in captivity.
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