In a heart-wrenching revelation, the family of Noiya Sharabi, a 16-year-old British teenager, has stated that she was killed in a Hamas attack. The assault on Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel also resulted in the deaths of her 13-year-old sister, Yahel, and their British-born mother, Lianne. The tragic incident occurred on 7 October, and since then, the two sisters had been missing. The girls’ father, Eli, remains unaccounted for, and other family members have reportedly been kidnapped.
Describing Noiya, the family shared with the BBC, “Noiya was clever, sensitive, fun and full of life – her smile lit up the room like a beacon.” They further added that she was a compassionate individual who always sought to assist others, especially those less fortunate. Noiya was also recognized as a talented student and linguist. The family expressed their profound grief, stating, “We are heartbroken she has gone, but forever grateful she was here.”
Raz Matalon, Noiya’s uncle in Israel, conveyed the depth of their loss, saying, “For us it is the end of the world. Noiya, Yahel and Lianne will always be in our hearts.”
Yahel, whose death was confirmed earlier, was remembered as an energetic child who enjoyed various activities, from cycling around the kibbutz to engaging in TikTok and YouTube sessions with her sister, Noiya, and occasionally with their British cousins.
Lianne, 48, had initially moved to Israel when she was 19 as a kibbutz volunteer. She later made the decision to settle in the country permanently. The family, despite being based in Israel, maintained close ties with their UK relatives, visiting them at least once annually.
WhatsApp messages reviewed by the BBC shed light on the terrifying moments leading up to the attack. Lianne had messaged her family about hearing gunfire and Arabic shouting in the vicinity. Although she had experienced security alerts in the past due to the kibbutz’s proximity to the Gaza barrier, she expressed that this situation was different, describing it as “a whole other story.”
The recent Hamas attacks are believed to have resulted in the deaths of 10 British citizens, with one individual kidnapped and at least five others still missing.