Vivian Silver was a 74-year-old Canadian-Israeli peace activist born and raised in Winnipeg. She is killed during a surprise assault carried out by Hamas-led militants on October 7. The family, initially hopeful that she was being held hostage. But confirmed her death after her remains were discovered more than five weeks later at Kibbutz Be’eri, where she resided.
The assault claimed the lives of at least 120 other individuals in the community of around 1,100 people, situated just kilometers from the Israel-Gaza border. The family had believed that Silver, along with over 200 others, had been kidnapped by militants in Gaza.
According to her son, Yonatan Zeigen, who confirmed his mother’s death, Silver was in contact with him on the day of the attack. Despite being aware early on that militants had entered the kibbutz, she couldn’t comprehend the full scope of the situation. Zeigen shared that, during their last communication at 10:54 a.m. local time, they were talking as if the ordeal would be over soon.
Even though Silver’s house had been destroyed in the attack, initially showing no signs of a struggle or bullets. The family believed she had been taken hostage. However, the discovery of her remains at Kibbutz Be’eri has now brought a somber conclusion to the family’s search for answers.
The Israeli government reported that militants killed around 1,200 people. It is including civilians and soldiers, in the raids and rocket attacks on Israeli communities on October 7. Conversely, the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza reported over 11,000 Palestinians killed in the weeks. It is due to Israeli bombardments and ground assaults.
The loss of Vivian Silver is a poignant reminder of the human toll exacted by the ongoing conflict. It is highlighting the devastating impact on individuals dedicated to building peace in the region.