A Solemn Farewell: Hundreds Gather to Commemorate Israeli Family of Five Killed in Recent Attack

by Ethan Kim
Israeli family funeral

A tragic end came for an Israeli family of five, discovered embracing each other in death, after falling victim to an assault by Hamas militants. They were interred in a collective burial ceremony that saw participation from hundreds of mourners.

On Tuesday, the Kotz family—comprising a married couple and their three children—were laid to rest after being fatally shot in their residence at Kibbutz Kfar Azza during the Hamas incursion into southern Israel on October 7. The burial site, located 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Jerusalem, became their final resting place as they were buried adjacently.

Aviv and Livnat Kotz, along with their daughter Rotem and sons Yonatan and Yiftach, were discovered lifeless, closely holding each other, according to a family spokesperson.

Having relocated from Boston, the family had constructed their home four years prior in the kibbutz where Aviv was raised, as disclosed by Adi Levy Salma, Livnat Kotz’s sister, to Ynet, an Israeli news organization.

“She was advised of the risks, but chose to stay as it was her lifelong home,” stated Levy Salma.

The mourning period for the Kotz family occurs amidst a broader backdrop of conflict and sorrow enveloping Israel. The funeral is one among many currently taking place.

On the Palestinian side, the Gaza Health Ministry reports over 3,400 casualties. Funerals have become an all-too-common occurrence, with processions filling the streets as men chant “Allahu akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic), carrying the deceased wrapped in white sheets.

In a separate incident, an Israeli woman named Shiraz Tamam was among a reported 260 victims of an armed attack at an electronic music festival. The funeral, taking place in Holon, central Israel, was also a scene of deep grief, attended by mourners predominantly dressed in black.

With a death toll exceeding 1,400 in Israel and several still unaccounted for, funeral ceremonies are expected to be held for an extended period as the country grapples with the aftermath of attacks that have revealed vulnerabilities in its defense infrastructure.

As the nation awakened to the sound of air raid sirens and the sight of rockets overhead on the day of the attacks, families like that of Levy Salma sought refuge in secure rooms. Despite efforts to contact her sister Livnat, she received no response, heightening her concerns when her niece Rotem also remained unresponsive.

“Subsequently, we began receiving reports about militant infiltration into the kibbutz. It was then we surmised something grave had occurred. Despite reaching out to their friends and neighbors, we got no reply from them. Our fears were palpable,” shared Levy Salma.

During the Kotz family’s burial ceremony, an atmosphere of overwhelming grief pervaded, with soldiers and civilians alike shedding tears. The graves were adorned with a profusion of flowers.

Livnat Kotz passed away just a week shy of her 50th birthday, according to her sister. She had been committed to reviving traditional crafts and incorporating them into educational curricula. Aviv Kotz had been a vice president at Kafrit Industries, a firm specializing in plastics. Their daughter Rotem served as a military training instructor in the Israeli Defense Forces, and their sons were active in the Hapoel Tel Aviv Youth Academy’s basketball program.

“Remarkable children with boundless compassion,” Levy Salma reflected. “Their entire future was before them.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Israeli family funeral

What happened to the Kotz family?

The Kotz family, consisting of a couple and their three children, were killed during a Hamas invasion in southern Israel. They were found embracing each other in their home at Kibbutz Kfar Azza.

Where did the funeral for the Kotz family take place?

The funeral was held at a graveyard located 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Jerusalem. The family was buried side by side and the ceremony was attended by hundreds of mourners.

How did the family come to live at Kibbutz Kfar Azza?

The family had moved to Israel from Boston four years prior to the incident. They built their home in the kibbutz where Aviv Kotz had grown up.

What were the warnings given to the Kotz family about staying in the area?

According to Livnat Kotz’s sister, Adi Levy Salma, the family was warned about the risks of staying in the area due to ongoing conflict. However, Livnat chose to stay as it was her lifelong home.

How many people have been killed in the ongoing conflict, according to official reports?

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, more than 3,400 people have been killed on the Palestinian side. In Israel, the death toll has exceeded 1,400.

What other events of mourning are taking place in Israel?

The article mentions the funeral of an Israeli woman named Shiraz Tamam, who was among at least 260 people killed in an attack on an electronic music festival. The atmosphere in Israel is described as one of war and mourning, with funerals becoming a common occurrence.

What occupations did the members of the Kotz family have?

Livnat Kotz was involved in reviving traditional crafts and integrating them into the school system. Aviv Kotz was a vice president at Kafrit Industries, a plastics manufacturer. Their daughter Rotem was a military training instructor in the Israeli Defense Forces, and their sons were active in the Hapoel Tel Aviv Youth Academy’s basketball program.

What is the current emotional state of the Kotz family’s relatives and friends?

The article describes an atmosphere of overwhelming grief during the funeral. Soldiers, civilians, and family members were seen shedding tears. Adi Levy Salma, sister of Livnat, expressed that her niece and nephews were “remarkable children with boundless compassion” and that “their entire future was before them.”

More about Israeli family funeral

  • Gaza Health Ministry Statistics
  • Ynet News Report on the Kotz Family
  • Israeli Defense Forces Official Statement
  • Kafrit Industries Corporate Announcement
  • Hapoel Tel Aviv Youth Academy Profile
  • Recent Attacks on Israel: An Overview
  • Hamas Military Activities and Strategies
  • Israel’s Defense Infrastructure: A Critical Assessment

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JennyQ October 19, 2023 - 7:04 am

this is why we need stronger defense systems, folks. Our ppl r dyin.

Mike_D October 19, 2023 - 9:22 am

Devastating news. Is peace so hard to achieve? Why do innocent people have to suffer?

Ahmed_F October 19, 2023 - 11:18 am

Terrible to see such loss on both sides. when will this cycle of violence end?

Tom_N October 19, 2023 - 1:25 pm

Was hard to read this. so many lives destroyed for what? Makes no sense.

Sarah J October 19, 2023 - 2:56 pm

Oh my God, this is just heartbreaking. Can’t imagine what their family’s going through.

RachelK October 19, 2023 - 5:49 pm

Such a beautifully written article but on such a tragic subject. Gets you thinking…

ChrisP October 19, 2023 - 8:13 pm

Man, just reading this makes you wanna hug your loved ones a little tighter today.

EmilyH October 19, 2023 - 11:25 pm

Bless their souls, and may their family find some comfort somehow.


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