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Outpouring of grief for slain soldier Ido Aviv



The Israeli city of Karmiel is in mourning following the tragic death of Ido Aviv, an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reservist killed in an explosion while serving in Gaza last month.

Ido, 28, whose family comes from Zimbabwe and lived for a time in South Africa before making aliya, was a passionate nature enthusiast and well-loved surfing instructor.

He was born and raised in Israel alongside his two younger brothers, Niv, 23 and Shaked, 18, but maintained a connection to southern Africa, where his family originated.

Ido’s life was deeply connected to the natural world, said his family this week. Known among his friends and family as a “nature kid”, he particularly loved the sea. He was an avid surfer and windsurfer, often seen riding the waves of Israel’s beaches, especially in Kiryat Yam where he worked at Surf Cycle, a popular local surfing school.

His bereaved father, Mark, who grew up in Zimbabwe, said his oldest son’s skills on the water translated into the role of respected instructor, where he shared his passion with many, including children with special needs.

One mom who paid her respects to the family told him that Ido had saved her son’s life.

“She said Ido taught her son, who suffered from depression and was contemplating suicide, how to surf which gave him a new lease on life, and led to him going on to graduate with distinction at school. We heard so many stories like this, from people describing him as an extraordinary, kind person.”

Ido and his long-term girlfriend envisioned a future together, a future sadly left unfulfilled, said his grandmother, Carol Aviv, who comes from Zimbabwe and has relatives in South Africa.

“Ido’s life was the sea, he lived for it,” said Carol who was involved with Telfed for many years. “He loved his girlfriend, and they were planning their future. We’re heartbroken.”

Ido and Niv were called up for duty on 7 October following the brutal Hamas attack. Ido went to defend Israel’s northern border, and Niv went to the south.

After spending five months in service, both brothers were released from duty in February. Niv, who lost a close friend at the Nova festival, decided to travel to East Asia to take some time off.

“The family was planning a reunion in Vietnam with Niv. However, Ido felt a strong sense of duty to stay behind should he be recruited again, which he was, to the south, before the end of Pesach.”

On 28 April, his parents, Mark and Amy, drove him to Be’eri, not knowing it would be their last goodbye.

“My wife, Amy, and I drove him to his base and said goodbye with heavy hearts. He told us he felt well trained and was prepared. He went into Gaza that night, and sadly was killed an hour later. Three officers came to our house while we were eating dinner, and gave us the news. We heard a knock on the door and never for a minute thought it was to tell us that Ido had been killed,” said Mark.

“Ido was patriotic. He refused to leave Israel because he said there was a chance he would be recruited again. This is the youth of Israel – prepared to sacrifice their life to defend their country. They aren’t soldiers, they are people with their own private lives, but they’ll drop everything to protect their country,” he said.

Ido’s funeral was huge, with a convoy stretching from the family’s home in Karmiel to the cemetery, reflecting the broad impact of his life. His love for nature, commitment to his country, and care for others left an indelible mark on all who knew him, said his friends.

The IDF announced this week the deaths of four soldiers killed in a Hamas rocket attack near Kerem Shalom on 5 May. Their deaths came as the IDF marked seven months since the war on Hamas began with the terror group’s massive October attack on Israel. Their deaths brought the toll of slain troops in the ground offensive against Hamas to 267. Another 10 soldiers were wounded in the attack. Most of the rockets struck an area where troops were gathered on the border, not far from the Kerem Shalom border crossing, which has been used to deliver thousands of truckloads of humanitarian aid to Gaza amid the war.

As the community remembers Ido, it also reflects on the sacrifices made by those who serve. Ido’s legacy as a defender of his country and a protector of nature continues to inspire those around him, even in his absence. According to his family, he has donated his organs.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Emaar

    May 12, 2024 at 9:38 pm

    Sounds about right. You think you can control the world with money. Of course, you would never print this comment, would you? It’s too close to the truth of your role in the world. How pathetic your false sense of racist superiority is.

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