A second Canadian is confirmed to have died in Israel after a multifront attack by the militant group Hamas over the weekend.
News of the death of Ben Mizrachi, from British Columbia, came Tuesday from a source close to the family, as well as social media posts from family members and his former high school.
Global News first learned on Sunday that Mizrachi was missing through a social media post by his former high school, King David High School in Vancouver, and confirmation from The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
He is the second Canadian believed to have been killed in Israel since Hamas launched its attack Saturday.
Aron Csaplaros, who knew Mizrachi when he was in high school, told Global News that the loss of Mizrachi “hits straight to the heart” of Vancouver’s entire Jewish community.
“Ben Mizrachi had such a positive influence on everybody he met just because of his warmth and his kindness. And it’s just a really, really tragic loss. He was 22. He had his whole life ahead of him,” Csaplaros said.
Csaplaros is now the regional manager for B’nai Brith, a grassroots Jewish advocacy group, in B.C.
He said that Mizrachi was at the Supernova music festival in southern Israel, which coincides with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. The festival was one of the first targets in a series of coordinated assaults carried out by Hamas on Saturday.
“I can’t imagine the fear that he must have felt in his final moments knowing what’s happening when it dawned on everybody there what’s happening,” Cspalaros said.
“He was just an innocent 22-year-old, warm, loving soul who was there just to enjoy himself at a music festival. And he was killed. He was gunned down simply because he was Jewish.”
According to Csaplaros, the Mizrachi family traveled to Israel after the attacks and the funeral is expected to take place on Wednesday.
Israel has since retaliated with airstrikes in Gaza and by cutting off supplies of food, fuel, medicines and other goods.
Alexander Look, from Montreal, is also believed to have been among those killed. His death was confirmed on social media by his family Monday.
Look was attending a dance festival in an Israeli town near Gaza when the festival-goers were attacked.
Two other Canadians from Winnipeg and Ottawa are believed to be missing, officials have said.
The fighting, now in its fourth day, has killed more than 1,700 people and wounded thousands on both sides.