Kfar Aza, ISRAEL – Heart-wrenching stories continue to emerge from the devastating attack by Hamas terrorists on Israel, shedding light on the human toll of the conflict. Among the tragic accounts are a couple who had their lives cut short just days before their planned engagement and a family of five found in a heartbreaking embrace.
Aviv Kutz, 54, and his wife, Livnat, 49, were discovered embracing their three children, Rotem, 19, Yonatan, 17, and Yiftach, 17, as lifeless bodies in their Kfar Aza home on the day of the terrorist invasion. The family had returned to Israel after living in Boston for several years. Aviv, a graphic designer, had organized a kite festival along the Gaza fence to promote peace.
Livnat, who was about to turn 50, was born during the Yom Kippur War in 1973, a conflict often compared to the current crisis. Aviv worked as the deputy director of a consulting firm and was involved in agriculture. Rotem served in the IDF and trained new recruits, while Yonatan and Yiftach attended a boarding school in Ramat Hasharon, playing basketball in the Hapoel youth program.
Tragically, another couple from Kfar Aza, IDF officers Niral Zini, 31, and his girlfriend Niv Raviv, 27, had their lives cut short just before their planned engagement. Zini intended to propose to Niv on October 10, but the engagement ring was found in their burned house. On the day of the invasion, Zini sent a chilling message to his family: “They’re here. I’m putting the phone down – pray.”
He defended their shelter with a knife while Raviv hid under a bed. The couple remained missing until their bodies were discovered after the massacre. Their funerals were attended by hundreds of mourners in Netanya.
Both Zini and Raviv were in the military reserves, with Zini holding the rank of major and Raviv, a captain. They commemorated their survival on October 10, 2015, after Zini was injured in Hebron. Zini planned to study law to assist physically and mentally injured soldiers, while Raviv aimed to become a clinical psychologist.
The ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel has exacted a devastating human toll, leaving families shattered and communities in mourning.