Hundreds turn out to mourn Shani Louk at emotional funeral service

A song written by Louk was played at the end of her eulogies which included the words ‘I don’t want war’


Family members and friends walk behind the coffin during a funeral service for Shani Louk in Srigim-Li On, May 19, 2024 (Credit: Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Hundreds of mourners paid their respect to Shani Louk on Sunday in the small town of Srigim, after her father called on the public to attend the funeral.

The German-Israeli dual national, became an instantly recognisable symbol of the Hamas massacre after a video of her broken body on the back of a pickup truck in Gaza emerged on Hamas social media channels on October 7.

During the funeral, Louk’s mother, Ricarda, said she “didn’t believe they’d be able to bring her body back, and it was a relief when the army informed us that they’d found her body and that it was complete.”

Ricarda spoke about her daughter’s love of nature, dancing, and travel. Shani studied art in Jerusalem and graphic design in Jaffa before becoming a tattoo artist. Friends of hers wore T-shirts to her funeral with the words “When we dance, we pray”, a phrase Shani would often say, they said.

Shani had attended the rave with her boyfriend, Orión Hernández Radoux, a Mexican national who is believed to still be held hostage by Hamas.

Shani’s father, Nissim, expressed grief at his inability to protect his daughter, and condemned Israel’s leadership for repeating the same mistakes and expecting a different result. “If we continue to make the same mistakes of the last few decades, we will likely lose our country,” he said.

President Isaac Herzog, whose father, Chaim Herzog, former president of Israel, was allegedly close to Shani’s grandfather, Amram, sent a video message to the funeral.

Towards the end of the eulogies, a song written by Louk was played, called “Home”, which included the words, “I don’t want war.”

The 22-year-old’s body was recovered along with those of Itzhak Gelerenter and Amit Buskila Thursday evening by Israeli forces during an operation led by the Shin Bet, seven months after they were murdered by Hamas terrorists. Only the fate of Louk had been known because of circulated footage on October 7, but the other three were until this weekend unknown.

Thousands reportedly turned out for the funeral of Buskila, who was a fashion stylist and 27 years old when she was murdered. Her mother, Ilana, said during a eulogy for her daughter she had “prayed for a different ending to the torment I’ve been through,

“I was lucky to have you for 28 years,” she said, “You wrapped me in love, you were my inspiration… you entered the hearts of the people of Israel.”

Buskila’s father, Meir, said of his daughter Amit that she had “paid with your life the price of the State of Israel. You are in a good world now, and you have left us shattered.” Her brother, Siel, said she was “killed for being Jewish.”

The Gelerenter family requested that Itzhak’s funeral not be covered by the media, but his daughter Pivko described her father during an interview with Israeli radio on Sunday as a “smiling person, witty, with a sense of humor, the first dad to show up when called, a wonderful grandfather.
“As much as he was macho and strong and tough, with my daugheters he was like butter,” she said.

The body of a fourth victim, Ron Benjamin, who was taken captive while on an early morning bike ride on October 7, was also returned and announced on Saturday, with a funeral set for Monday in Kibbutz Palmahim.

With the recovery of the four bodies on Friday, it is believed that 124 people abducted by Hamas remain in Gaza, with 37 of them confirmed dead by Israeli authorities.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive