top of page

Yotam Haim

28

Yotam lived in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, distinguished by his long, ginger hair and beautiful blue eyes, that one could easily lose themselves in. A gifted musician and a passionate drummer, Yotam was dedicated to heavy metal, and truly adored the band Megadeth. Yotam enjoyed cooking Italian food and even taught himself Italian. With a profound affection for animals, Yotam raised dogs and cats at his home on the kibbutz. For years, his drumming skills unmatched, Yotam was a member of the metal band "Persephore". He eagerly waited to go on stage with the band at a metal festival in Tel Aviv on the ominous Saturday of October 7th.
On that Saturday, the dream turned into a nightmare. Kibbutz Kfar Aza was heavily attacked by the terrorist organization Hamas, as part of a surprise attack on Israel. In the massacre, more than 70 people were murdered, including entire families. Hamas abducted 18 residents of Kfar Aza into Gaza.
The last communication from Yotam was a distressing video sent to his mother, revealing the imminent danger he faced as terrorists set his house ablaze, leading to his abduction. Yotam was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from the safety of his home. In the abduction video, Yotam walks upright, aware of the situation, giving his parents reassurance that he was in control and could be relied upon.
This act of violence left his family and friends, including his brother Tuvi (Tuval), also a drummer, in profound distress, manifesting in a heartfelt plea on social media for Yotam's return. Amidst the turmoil, a poignant moment of unity occurred as Yotam's band, his brother, and friends came together in a spontaneous jam session; a cathartic release for his mother, Iris, allowing her to break down in tears.
Iris Haim, Yotam's devoted mother, resolutely refused to let the term 'kidnapped' overshadow her son's multifaceted identity.
"He's great with people," Iris testifies, "Initially reserved, but once he connects, he dives deep into the soul." She lovingly recalls Yotam as a resilient soul who, from a tender age, navigated significant health challenges. These early trials, including a critical surgery and ongoing medical issues until age 11, instilled in Yotam an indomitable spirit, albeit marked by struggles with body image issues. Despite these adversities, Yotam's determination saw him seeking to serve his country, a testament to his character.
Months before his abduction, the family discussed their dynamics; Yotam asked them to stop viewing him as disabled and to simply trust him. "We started working on a different kind of relationship," Iris shares. "Then came the attack, reinforcing my belief that Yotam can handle this—he asked me to trust him. I believe all that he has endured along the years enables him to cope."
On December 15, after 70 days in captivity, Yotam Haim's life was tragically cut short, at 28. He was a casualty of a grievous misidentification by the IDF, which mistook him and two other Israeli hostages, Samer Fouad Al-Talalka and Alon “Lulu” Shamriz, for terrorists. This devastating error unfolded after an intense confrontation that saw the kidnappers neutralized, albeit too late for Yotam, Samer and Lulu, who had bravely attempted to signal for help. Around the building where they took cover, in the neighborhood of Shuja'iyya, they hung signs, written with spices: "S.O.S" and "Help - 3 kidnapped (הצילו 3 חטופים)."
In the aftermath, a detailed IDF investigation revealed the harrowing final moments of Yotam's life, shedding light on a sequence of events marked by courage, desperation, and a deeply felt loss. The incident, culminating in a poignant discovery that ultimately confirmed Yotam's identity, has left Yotam’s parents, his brother, his sister and an entire nation, heart-broken.
Iris Haim declared publicly that not only does she not harbor any anger towards the soldiers from the battalion who shot her son, but she also embraces them and has invited them to her home.

Since the tragedy, Iris has been trying to positively impact others through her personal story. "Sorrow isn't what happens to you, but how you respond to it," says Iris, who chooses to see the good.
View the official video of this song by Persephore: “War Zone” is a heartfelt tribute to our drummer, Yotam Haim, who was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on October 7:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BW_b_vr77lY

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

Message

From

date

We kindly ask you to leave your messages accordingly. 

By contributing messages or images, you agree to our Terms and Conditions.

Show them your support

Your message has been sent.

Thank you for your support!

Upload your message from the book / photo
write your message of support here. . .

bottom of page