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Elia Cohen

Elia, who was born in Bet Shemesh but lives in Tel Aviv today, is the oldest in his family.  He…

Elia Cohen

Age: 27 

Place of residence: Born in Bet Shemesh, lives in Tel Aviv, family from Tzur Hadassah 

Family: Mother (Sigalit), father, and three younger sisters. 

Elia, who was born in Bet Shemesh but lives in Tel Aviv today, is the oldest in his family. 

He was attending the Nova Music Festival in the Negev desert in southern Israel with his girlfriend Ziv when Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on October 7, 2023.  The festival is held annually on the holiday of Sukkot and is attended by thousands as an event celebrating unity and love. “unity and love.” 

When sirens began to wail, Elia and Ziv ran to their car and started driving. Hamas terrorists launched grenades and RPGs at their vehicle. Elia was injured and fell on top of Ziv, along with a number of other bodies. Ziv and Elia held hands as Elia whispered that he was injured but was fine. 

Suddenly, Ziv felt someone pull Elia away from her. He was pulled out of the pile of bodies, thrown into a van, and was driven away. 

Elia’s mother, Sigalit, became aware of the October 7, 2023 terrorist attack against Israel when a friend showed her a picture of her son posted on the AJA.Palestine Facebook page. Elia was shown as alive and held by Hamas in Gaza. 

Two days later, Sigalit was officially informed by the Israeli government that her son was indeed kidnapped after having been injured at the music festival. 

“I spend most of the day crying. When I am by myself, all the emotions bubble up, and thoughts don’t soothe me,” Sigalit says. “I mostly cry when his friends come, because then I feel that Elia is close to me.”

In the aftermath of the attack, Elia’s sister brought friends over to keep Sigalit company, make challah, and sing. They stayed for hours and resist leaving Sigalit. 

Elia’s father is disabled. After being notified of Elia’s kidnapping, his mental state deteriorated, and hardly speaks, only thanking his wife for fighting for both of them.

“I hope that Elia’s is there in Gaza helping the kidnapped children so that they aren’t afraid,” says Sigalit, who is planning a big party for when her son returns. 

External Sources: 

Israel HaYom

At Magazine