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Iris Haim, mother of Yotam Haim

Mother: Iris Haim

Son: Yotam Haim, aged 28 at the time of his abduction from his home in Kibbutz Kfar-Aza

Family: Mother Iris, father Raviv, older brother Tuval (aged 31), and younger sister Noya (aged 21)

Moments of Terror: On 7/10 at 10:44, Yotam was abducted from his apartment in Kibbutz Kfar-Aza, after four hours during which we were in close contact with him. During this time, he showed us how strong he was by posting videos documenting his moments in the safe room. At 10:30, he sent videos of gunfire inside his room, and then we lost contact with him. For 70 days, Yotam survived in Hamas captivity, with extraordinary courage and high morale. He emerged from captivity on his own, along with two others, and attempted to reach IDF soldiers. On 15/12, we received the worst news of all - Yotam was killed. By our forces.

The Person Behind the Story: Yotam was a person with a developed sense of humour, a talented athlete with many aspirations for success, and always first in every competition. At the age of 9, he learned to play the drums and became excellent, forming a band with good friends called Persephore. In recent years, he lived in Kibbutz Kfar-Aza the young neighbourhood near the fence. He loved animals and raised several cats, to which he was very attached.

Life by Yotam's side was full of challenges. He was a person with emotional complexity, like a high-pitched tone, and our world was complex and difficult for him. He struggled daily with it, from the day he was born.

We had wonderful moments together. We traveled abroad several times, just the two of us. On one of the trips, we arrived at a large lake, rented two pairs of bicycles, and started to circle it, a 40-kilometer route. In the middle of the way, I broke down, I was very tired. Yotam encouraged me endlessly and managed to help me finish the route.

My Message: In any situation, even the most difficult one, it is possible to choose to see the light and not the pit.

Project in Memory of Yotam: We honor Yotam in several ways, mainly by raising awareness of the opportunity for those struggling with mental health to receive comprehensive and high-quality treatment through music, sports, and animals.

Our Last Embrace: I feel Yotam's hug every day, Yotam is with me in every moment.

Iris Haim, mother of Yotam Haim

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