Vivian Silver, a Canadian-born Israeli activist who devoted her life to seeking peace with the Palestinians, was confirmed dead on October 7 in a Hamas incursion into southern Israel.
For 38 days, Silver, who traveled to Israel in the 1970s and made his home in Kibbutz Biri, was believed to be one of nearly 240 hostages held in the Gaza Strip. But the identification of some of the badly charred remains is progressing slowly, and his family was notified of his death on Monday.
Silver was a dominant figure in several groups promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as a prominent Israeli human rights group. He volunteered with a group that took cancer patients from Gaza to Israeli hospitals for medical treatment.
“On the one hand, she was small and fragile. Very intelligent.”His son Yonatan Zeigen told Israel Radio on Tuesday. “She, on the other hand, was a force of nature. He had a giant spirit. She was very determined. “He had very strong fundamental beliefs about the world and life.”.
Zeigen said he was texting his mother during the attack. The exchanges began lightheartedly and Silver retained his sense of humor, he said. Suddenly, there was a dramatic crisis and when he realized that the end had come, the militants entered his house.
“He must have been heartbroken” by the events of Oct. 7 and its aftermath, Zeigen said. “She worked her whole life to distract us from this study. Eventually it blew up in her face.
At least 1,200 people have been killed in Hamas attacks on Israel, while more than 11,000 Palestinians have died so far in Israel’s 39-day war in Gaza.
“We went through three terrible wars in the space of six years,” Silver told The Associated Press in 2017. “At the end of the third I said, ‘No more.’ Each of us must do everything we can to stop the next war. And it is possible. We must reach a diplomatic agreement.
Zeigen said she has now taken over from her mother.
“I feel like I’m in a relay race,” he said. “She just sent me something. I don’t know what I would make of it, but I guess we can’t turn back time now. We must now create something new, something in the direction she worked.
(With information from AP)
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