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Vancouver man killed in Hamas attack on music festival in Israel


A Vancouver man who was missing in Israel was killed in an attack by Hamas on a music festival, the second confirmed Canadian casualty in a massacre that left hundreds dead.

CTV News has confirmed 22-year-old Ben Mizrachi was killed in Israel.

Mizrachi was first reported missing in a social media post from Vancouver’s King David High School on Saturday. The school shared an update Tuesday, reporting the former student's death and announcing his funeral, saying the news had left the community heartbroken.

"It's just really devastating. He was a larger than life young man, a super-happy kid. So involved in school,” assistant school head Alex Monchamp said in an interview with CTV News.

“A really caring big brother. He loved his family. Loved Israel. And he had a really bright future ahead of him and to lose him in this way is just gut-wrenching."

Vancouver-Granville MP Taleeb Noormohamed also posted to social media confirming the death Tuesday morning.

"A wonderful young man from my riding - Ben Mizrachi - was found amongst those murdered by Hamas terrorists. My heartfelt condolences and prayers are with his family, his friends, loved ones and the community," the post said.

"May his memory be a blessing."

Ezra Shanken, the CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver, mourned what he called an “unimaginable” loss.

"He wasn't killed. He was murdered. Let's not sanitize this, folks. He was murdered. He went to a peace festival. He was murdered,” Shanken told CTV News. “So I don't want to hear killed. He was not a combatant."

Shanken said he spent time with Mizrachi’s parents on the weekend.

"I sat with his parents on Saturday when they heard that he was missing,” he said. “I hope you never have the opportunity to sit down with a family like that and to see the despair in their eyes."

Saturday's attack on the open-air Tribe of Nova music festival is believed to be the worst civilian massacre in Israeli history, with at least 260 dead and a still-undetermined number taken hostage. Dozens of Hamas militants who had blown through Israel's heavily fortified separation fence and crossed into the country from Gaza opened fire on about 3,500 young Israelis who had come together for a joyous night of electronic music to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

The Israeli military has said more than 900 people have died in Israel since Saturday's incursion by Hamas. In Gaza and the West Bank, 765 people have been killed in retaliatory attacks by Israel, according to authorities there.

At a Wednesday evening rally at Jack Poole Plaza, hundreds gathered to show their support for Israel.

High school friends of Mizrachi addressed the crowd and shared the grief they are feeling as they try to process news of his death.

"Ben had the type of personality that will cheer you up and make you smile,” said Maytar Fadida. “He had such a huge heart and you knew you could always count on Ben."

With files from The Associated Press Top Stories

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