Eden Nimri, an Israeli international-level swimmer, was killed in fighting against Hamas militants in Nahal Oz, a village in Southern Israel.
Nimri was a lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and a commander of a drone unit fighting in the area.
Nahal Oz is located near the Gaza strip in Southern Israel where heavy fighting has ensured over the last 48 hours since Hamas began launching thousands of missiles into Israel.
Nimri, 22, grew up swimming at the Reut Water Park Club. She was part of a big swimming family in Israel, her sister Noga is a swimmer, her father Michael is a Masters swimmer, and parents Michael and Sharon are both swimming officials.
She represented Israel internationally at the 2018 European Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, placing 30th. She also represented her country at the 2017 ISF World Schools Championships and the 2014 Mediterranean Cup.
“Eden was an amazing girl, a good friend, competitive, especially hardworking, had a high self-discipline, worked hard, always aiming high, set goals and met them,” the Israel Swimming Association said on Instagram.
Nimri swam her last official meet in December 2019 at the Israeli Short Course Swimming Championships.
The surprise attacks by Hamas began on Saturday morning and have continued, with more missiles being launched across the border and Hamas fighters crossing into Israel and taking hostages and killing Israeli civilians. Israel has retaliated with air strikes in Gaza, which Palestinian authorities say have killed at least 78 children.
More than 800 Israelis and 500 Palestinians have been reportedly killed in the fighting so far according to Israel’s military, with Israel formally declaring war on Hamas on Sunday. US officials say that 9 U.S. citizens have died in the conflict so far, with a number of others still unaccounted for.
- For continuing updates on the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, see this live blog from CNN.