Vivian Silver, a 74-year-old Canadian-Israeli activist, has been confirmed to have been killed in Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
According to her son, who spoke to Canadian news media on Monday, Nov. 13, Silver was texting with him when the Palestinian militants stormed her house.
She had informed colleagues at Women Wage Peace, a humanitarian organization she co-founded in 2014, that she was hiding in a safe room during the attack, according to The Guardian.
As Silver went missing, she was assumed to have been taken hostage in Gaza.
However, a statement from Toronto’s Israeli consul general on Tuesday, Nov. 14 confirmed that Silver died when her house was set on fire on the day of the attack in southern Israel.
Her remains were identified more than five weeks after the incident.
A life-long activist dedicated to advocating peace between Israelis and Palestinians, Silver moved from Winnipeg, Canada, and made Kibbutz Be’eri in Israel her home since 1974.
She was described by the Washington Post as having spent her life “denouncing Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and lobbying for diplomatic solutions to the conflict”.
In addition to co-founding Women Wage Peace, she was also involved in several other human rights organizations such as the Arab-Jewish Center for Equality, Empowerment and Cooperation.
She also volunteered with a group that provided transportation for Gaza children and cancer patients to hospitals in Israel for healthcare.
According to the Israeli government, Hamas killed over 1,200 people and took around 242 others hostage, including children and foreigners, during the assault on Oct. 7.
In response, Israel declared war on Hamas and has been launching airstrikes and ground operations that killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, as reported by Palestinian officials.