Col. Asaf Hamami
Col. Asaf HamamiIDF Spokesperson

Colonel Asaf Hamami, age 41 from Kiryat Ono, commander of the Southern Brigade, fell in battle on October 7. He will be laid to rest tomorrow in Kiryat Shaul cemetery at 11:00 a.m.

Although Col. Hamami's body has not yet been recovered, the IDF's Chief Rabbi has declared him dead based on all available evidence and examining credible intelligence, and so a funeral will be held for him.

He will be buried like his uncle, Eitan Hamami, a Golani soldier killed in a training accident, and his grandfather's brother, Yair Tzabari, who died during his IDF service.

"Three generations, three messengers of bereavement," wrote military analyst Yossi Yehoshua in Yediot Aharonot. "Shoshana Hamami has lost her brother, son, and now her beloved grandson."

On Simchat Torah, one of Asaf's favorite holidays, he was on an IDF base with his son Alon. At 6:29 a.m., he missed his six-year-old son in the head, passed him to one of the officers in his brigade, and was the first to leave the base to fight Hamas.

With rockets flying overhead, he fully understood the nature of the situation, and announced on the radio: "This is your commander. I declare that we are at war."

"Hamami was among the first to charge into battle with his soldiers, and also one of the first to fall defending Nirim. The battle saved the lives of many of the residents of the kibbutz. Hamami and two other soldiers in the command center, signaler Tomer Ahimas and driver Kirel Borodsky, encountered terrorists, fought them bravely, and killed many of them. Five of the residents of the kibbutz were killed and five more abducted," Yehoshua wrote.

According to Yehoshua, Hamas terrorists specifically sought out Hamami while attacking the Gaza brigade. Hundreds of terrorists were captured with his picture and instructions to find that senior officer. Hamami was already deeply engaged in battle, as befits an officer more connected to the people of the Gaza region and not to the brigade, and was the first to go out on patrol in the morning and the last two go to sleep after his soldiers. He felt executing his duty and purpose: defending the residents of the Gaza region.

Hamami was one of three Colonels to die since the war broke out, the highest rank yet killed. The other two were the commanders of the multi-dimensional unit, Roi Levi, and the commander of the Nahal brigade, Yehonatan Steinberg.

"Their fall shows their admirable character and teaches us about the future generation of field commanders, who did not hesitate before going out to protect their homes and did not believe in commanding from behind LED screens. They were called, they answered, and they died a hero's death. May their memory be blessed," Yehoshua concludes.