Adina and Said Moshe had lived on Kibbutz Nir Oz, roughly 2 kilometers from the Gaza border, for over 50 years. Agriculture enthusiasts, they helped turn the once sparse northwestern Negev desert into an agricultural dreamland, tending to peanuts and an array of potato varieties.
On Oct. 6, Said, 75, returned from a trade fair in Madrid that brought together thousands of stakeholders from the global fresh produce industry. The event had just wrapped and Said was intent on making it back to southern Israel for a memorial for his brother Sasson Moshe, who died in the Yom Kippur War almost 50 years ago to the day.
Along with the other 400 members of their kibbutz, the Moshes woke on Oct. 7 to the blare of the warning system that alerts residents of incoming missiles. Accustomed to rocket barrages after half a century spent living on the Gaza border, the couple headed to their safe room, a fortified space designed to withstand rocket fire but not ground infiltration. The bombardment was unusually intense and the couple soon heard gunfire and yelling in Arabic.
After several attempts to penetrate the Moshes' safe room, the Hamas militants swarming the kibbutz eventually used dynamite to blow open the window of their shelter before spraying Said with bullets through the new opening. Text messages sent from Adina’s phone show that amid the chaos, she frantically texted family members for instructions on how to stem his bleeding.