Source: Iran International
A young soldier of Iranian origin has been named as the latest victim confirmed dead following the Hamas massacre of October 7 in Israel.
In an emotional farewell, Shirel Haeimpour’s grandfather sang a traditional Jewish love song and a wedding song with his Esfahani Persian accent for the young woman who will never get to stand under the traditional canopy, or ‘chuppah.’
From the town of Rishon Lezion, Shirel’s loved ones gave moving speeches about her as Israel mourns the more than 1,400, mostly civilians, murdered on the day now considered the most deadly day for Jews since the Holocaust.
More than 230 have been taken hostage to Gaza, including babies and children.
It was her last weekend as a soldier in the mostly female base near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, one of the many villages where civilians were slaughtered and homes destroyed by the thousands of Hamas militants who invaded Israel by air, land, and sea.
The girls’ duty was to watch the country’s most active border. The base had a policy of ‘you see, you shoot’, the Gaza border a constant threat since Hamas took over control of the strip.
In a chilling recollection, her boyfriend, Ariel Ben Uri, spoke of her constant fears that one day, Hamas would break through and invade, feeling that both the soldiers and the civilians around them were not safe from terrorist infiltration. “You were right,” he said, fighting back tears.
The youngest daughter of four, her brother Barak spoke of her bravery as she leaped out of bed as the tragedy unfolded to go straight to the emergency room. Hamas drones had blacked out the cameras, meaning there were just minutes for the girls to alert others of an imminent attack.
Shirel Haeimpour, an Israeli citizen of Iranian descent, was buried today after being tragically killed by the terrorist group #Hamas. The grandfather of Shirel sings a wedding song for his granddaughter in Persian and with an Esfahani accent. 😞☹️
— Navid Mohebbi نوید محبی (@navidmohebbi) October 29, 2023
“You saved lives and chose to help,” he said, speaking through his tears at the ceremony in Rishon Lezion, south of Tel Aviv.
News of her death was felt by the Iranian diaspora. Karmel Melamed wrote on X: “As an Iranian American, I weep for Shirel Haeimpour, an innocent Iranian-Israeli young woman slaughtered by Hamas barbarians.
As an Iranian American I weep for Shirel Haeimpour, an innocent Iranian-Israeli young woman slaughtered by Hamas barbarians. She came from Isfahani Jewish roots which are ancient. Just as we mourn the loss of Armita in Iran, we also mourn the loss of Shirel in Israel.💔🇮🇱 https://t.co/2ckZznguGq
— Karmel Melamed (@KarmelMelamed) October 29, 2023
“She came from Isfahani (Esfahani) Jewish roots, which are ancient. Just as we mourn the loss of Armita in Iran, we also mourn the loss of Shirel in Israel,” referring to a 16-year-old schoolgirl who was pronounced dead after spending four weeks in a coma in Tehran following a scuffle with hijab police.
Among the murdered were hundreds of dual citizens from countries including France, the UK, and the US. Dozens of local Arabs and Bedouins were also murdered.
The hostages now include around 30 nationalities, Israelis, dual-nationals, foreign workers, and tourists.
Hamas has demanded the release of 6,000 prisoners in return for the hostages, though it claimed recently 50 have died in Israeli airstrikes on the strip.
In 2011, Israel released over 1,000 Palestinians from its jails in return for one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. In a bitter twist, many of them, including Hamas’ leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, ended up being among those who masterminded and executed the surprise attack on October 7.
Experts warn that the latest situation would set a dangerous precedent not only to Hamas but to Israel’s archenemy, Iran. In August, the Biden administration agreed to unblock $6b of frozen Iranian funds in South Korea in exchange for five dual-national US-Iranians held hostage in Iran. Many warned at the time that the “largest ransom in history” would embolden the Iranian regime and other would-be hostage-takers.
In the meantime, Israel has vowed to continue its ground invasion of Gaza until both Hamas are destroyed, and the hostages are brought home, as the war enters its fourth week.