Soldiers sift through ash searching for bones in Kibbutz Be'eri

Approximately six weeks after the tragic events of October 7th, when Hamas militants launched a devastating attack, the Hezroni family faced another somber moment. On Saturday night, they were informed that the remains of 12-year-old Liel Hezroni had been identified through DNA testing. These remains had been unearthed by the Antiquities Authority's archaeologists.

In a deeply moving farewell ceremony held last Wednesday, many gathered to pay their respects to both Liel and her aunt Illa. The service took place at the temporary cemetery of Kibbutz Be'eri, located in the Negev's Kibbutz Revivim. The Hezroni family, still grappling with their loss, has decided against holding another burial ceremony. Instead, they are preparing for Liel's final interment in Be'eri when the area, still being combed through for evidence of the October 7th atrocities, is cleared and released by Israeli officials.

The lives of Liel, her twin brother Yanai, their grandfather Avia, and aunt Illa were cruelly taken in the attack. At the time of the initial ceremony, Liel's body had not yet been found, leading the family to inter her personal belongings instead.

Liel and Yanai were the children of Shira Hezroni, who suffered a brain injury after childbirth, resulting in physical disability. Their upbringing was a community effort, with their father, grandfather, and aunt Illa playing pivotal roles, supported by the entire Be'eri community.

On the fateful day of October 7th, Hamas terrorists stormed the Hezroni residence, abducting the family members. Everyone except for the late grandfather Avia was taken to the home of a Be'eri resident, the late Pasi Cohen. Here, the terrorists gathered several residents and brutally murdered them before setting the house on fire with the victims inside.

The community of Be'eri remembers Liel and her family with deep affection and respect. "Liel was born with her brother, and their mother treasured the brief time she spent with them before her condition deteriorated," members of the community recalled according to Ynet. "Aunt Illa was much more than just a relative; she was a mother figure to them. Their father admirably filled the roles of both a grandfather and a father. Liel, enveloped in love throughout her life, was a blend of maturity and childlike wonder. She was resilient and strong, yet faced her fears with bravery and honesty. Illa and Liel were each other's protectors."

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