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B.C. man among hundreds killed at music festival in Israel

Attack on festival part of sudden weekend strike by Hamas militants
Ben Mizrachi, 22, was killed while attending a music festival in southern Israel on Saturday, Oct. 7. He is one of more than 260 festival-goers believed to be killed by Hamas militants. (Ben Mizrachi/ Facebook)

A young Vancouver man is the second Canadian reported dead in Israel following a Saturday (Oct. 7) attack by Hamas militants on the country amid worsening Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Ben Mizrachi, 22, was gunned down while attending a music festival, according to a social media post by the Jewish high school he attended in Vancouver.

“Ben was larger than life, with a big personality that matched his size. He was full of joy, had a smile for everyone, and was always there to help. Ben was a friend to everyone and was so proud of his service in the IDF,” King David High School’s head of school Russ Klein said in the post.

Israeli men are required to serve in the IDF, or Israel Defense Forces, usually for a minimum of 32 months.

“One of my fondest memories is being with Ben on the King David Grade 8 trip to Israel ten years ago, watching him daven at sunrise atop Masada, wearing his Kevin Bieksa Canucks Jersey,” Klein said.

Vancouver-Granville MP Taleeb Noormohamed also mourned Mizrachi’s death on social media.

“A wonderful young man from my riding of #VanGran – Ben Mizrachi – was found amongst those murdered by Hamas terrorists,” Noormohamed said. “My heartfelt condolences and prayers are with his family, his friends, loved ones and the community.”

About 3,500 young Israelis were attending the open-air Tribe of Nova music festival in southern Israel near the Gaza border on Saturday night when Hamas militants broke through the country’s separation fence and open fired. At least 260 of the festival-goers are believed to have died and an unknown number have been taken hostage.

Hundreds more people were killed elsewhere in the country, as well. The Israeli military said more than 900 people have died in Israel as of Tuesday. And, as Israeli forces have retaliated, hundreds of Palestinians and others have been killed in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. Authorities there said 765 people have been killed.

Mizrachi is the second Canadian reported to be killed at the music festival. A 33-year-old Montreal man named Alexandre Look was the first. Global Affairs Canada said it is aware of three other Canadians who have been reported missing.

The government department said there are more than 3,234 citizens registered as Canadians abroad in Israel and 478 Canadians registered in Palestinian Territories. The numbers don’t capture citizens who have not registered with Global Affairs.

READ ALSO: Israeli survivors recount terror at music festival, where hundreds killed

– with files from The Associated Press

About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media after starting as a community reporter in Greater Victoria.
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