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A mother’s final act of love: British woman killed alongside her two girls during Hamas raid on Israeli kibbutz died ‘holding her babies in her arms, trying to protect them to the end’, family reveal


A British woman killed alongside her two girls during a Hamas raid on an Israeli kibbutz died holding her babies in her arms and trying to protect them to the end, her family has revealed. 

Lianne Sharabi, 48, from Bristol, and her daughter Yahel, 13, were both gunned down in her house at the Be’eri Kibbutz on October 7.

It was initially hoped that her second daughter, Noiya, 16, was still alive having been taken hostage by Hamas – but the teenager’s body was finally discovered days after the raid. The girls’ father Eli remains missing and is thought to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

Gill and Pete Brisley have called Lianne a devoted mother. 

Mrs Brisley told BBC News they discovered the bodies of their daughter and grandchildren had been found by a soldier ‘all cuddled together with Lianne doing what a mother would do – holding her babies in her arms, trying to protect them at the end’.

Yahel, left, Noiya, right, and their mother Lianne. Lianne (pictured, centre) first moved to Israel when she was 19 to work on a kibbutz as a volunteer

Yahel, left, Noiya, right, and their mother Lianne. Lianne (pictured, centre) first moved to Israel when she was 19 to work on a kibbutz as a volunteer

Gill and Pete Brisley have called Lianne a 'devoted mother' who 'tried to protect her daughters to the end'

Gill and Pete Brisley have called Lianne a ‘devoted mother’ who ‘tried to protect her daughters to the end’

She added that this gave her a small amount of comfort. 

Mr and Mrs Brisley were speaking just days after the funeral.

‘Our three beautiful girls are no longer with us,’ Mrs Brisley said.

Describing Lianne as a ‘wonderful’ person, Mrs Brisley said that Israel was normally a ‘very friendly’ and ‘a lovely place to bring up a family’ with great nurseries and schools. 

She added that they knew everybody and took part in sports and bike rides, as well as trips across Israel.

They had moved into the home just three years prior to the brutal attack. 

Mr Brisley said he first heard of the incident on the television and messaged Lianne to ask her if she was okay, but did not get a response. 

‘I think by then she had already gone,’ he said. 

He noted that their home was the one closest to the fence where the Hamas terrorists entered, adding that everyone on the street was killed or badly injured.

Mrs Brisley said: ‘I have horrible images in my mind, waking or sleeping. All I can hope was that it was a quick death.’

She said Lianne was a happy child and had always wished to travel the world.

She noted that Lianne had moved from Staple Hill in Bristol to Israel aged 19 to work on a kibbutz. She also said that she went there on a working holiday but had called three months later to say that she had met a man. 

She then started to build a life for herself, learning and becoming fluent in Hebrew and raising two daughters, who Mrs Brisley described as ‘beautiful and lovely grandchildren’.

She said they ran up to them and embraced them every time they met at the airport gates. 

(Left to right) Noam, Ayelet, Hodaya and Noa, friends of Noiya, were seen mourning the loss of their close friend

Hadas Sharabi (pictured, left), wife of Sharon Sharabi, with their daughter Rotem (pictured, right) were seen mourning at the cemetery

Hadas Sharabi (pictured, left), wife of Sharon Sharabi, with their daughter Rotem (pictured, right) were seen mourning at the cemetery

Their loved ones mourned their loss, and shared their final messages to the departed

Their loved ones mourned their loss, and shared their final messages to the departed

Dad Eli (pictured, second from left) is still missing, and is believed to be held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza

Dad Eli (pictured, second from left) is still missing, and is believed to be held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza

Lianne, Noiya and Yahel were buried at the Kfar Harif cemetery in southern Israel on Wednesday

Lianne, Noiya and Yahel were buried at the Kfar Harif cemetery in southern Israel on Wednesday

Lianne, Noiya and Yahel were laid to rest in simple, wooden coffins

Lianne, Noiya and Yahel were laid to rest in simple, wooden coffins

Mrs Brisley said Yahel had an abundance of energy and had started scuba diving lessons, with a fascination for the natural world, animals and space. 

She described Noiya as quieter, more affectionate and noted that she spent a great deal of time looking after disabled people, with a view to a career in social work.

She said Noiya enjoyed singing and dancing, despite having a terrible voice. 

Mrs Brisley said she last saw the lost family members in July during a two-week stay for Yahel’s Bat Mitzvah, with the whole family in attendance.

Unable to get to the funeral, the family said they instead watched footage of the service on WhatsApp. 

Grieving friends and family members wept on Wednesday as they gathered for the funeral the mother and her two teenage girls.

Lianne, Noiya and Yahel were remembered by their wider family and friends at a heartbreaking joint funeral at the Kfar Harif cemetery in southern Israel.

Lianne’s British parents and three brothers were among those who paid tribute, in a series of pre-recorded messages played at the service.

Devastated relatives were inconsolable as they gathered around the three coffins, each draped in Israeli flags.

‘Our Lianne was the light of our family’s life. She had a wonderful caring nature,’ said Lianne’s mother Gill.

‘She would help anyone in trouble, be it physical, emotional or financial, she would be there for them.

‘She was funny, with a dry sense of humour – sometimes irreverent, but never malicious.

‘She fully embraced the life on Be’eri and made many friends over the years.

‘She was a wonderful mother to Noiya and Yahel and a great support for Eli.’

She added: ‘Her love for her parents and the rest of the family here was always apparent.

Hundreds gathered to mourn the passing of Lianne and her two daughters

Hundreds gathered to mourn the passing of Lianne and her two daughters

The three women were being buried in Kfar Harif cemetery temporarily

The three women were being buried in Kfar Harif cemetery temporarily 

The family would go back home to Bristol once a year to see their British relatives

The family would go back home to Bristol once a year to see their British relatives

Lianne sent relatives a text message letting them know that Hamas gunmen had broken into Kibbutz Be'eri shortly before she died

Lianne sent relatives a text message letting them know that Hamas gunmen had broken into Kibbutz Be’eri shortly before she died

Hamas terrorists managed to break into the saferoom that was built in their home

‘She never failed to keep in contact with us and we enjoyed hearing of her life in Israel and the adventures she shared with Eli, Noiya and Yahel.

‘We will miss our girl to the end of our days and keep her in our hearts forever, tucked away with the fondest memories of her 48 years.

‘Goodnight, sleep tight sweetheart.’

Gill then described her granddaughter Noiya as a ‘beacon of light’.

She said of her: ‘The [British] family was lucky enough to visit Be’eri as Noiya was growing from an affectionate and happy child, to a compassionate teen and a beautiful and talented young woman.

‘Always the big sister, she looked after Yahel and was very proud of her little sister.

‘She would often chase us around the room, singing at the top of her voice, to make us laugh.

‘We will always treasure the memories of a beautiful and talented girl.

‘A beacon of light extinguished too soon, but ever in our hearts, always.

‘We will miss her smiling face.’

Turning to her Yahel, she continued: ‘She was funny, mischievous and a joy to be with. We will never know what she could have become – a vet, an entertainer, a naturalist, maybe even the first Israeli woman in space.

‘All we know is that there is a Yahel-shaped hole in our lives that can never be filled for her British family.’

Her father Pete said: ‘I saw Lianne born on the double bed in our bedroom in the early hours of 20th February 1975.

Several people wore t-shirts calling for the safe return of Lianne’s husband Eli and her brother-in-law Yosi who were kidnapped and are believed to be held as hostages by Hamas

Several people wore t-shirts calling for the safe return of Lianne’s husband Eli and her brother-in-law Yosi who were kidnapped and are believed to be held as hostages by Hamas

‘As a teenager she was something of a rebel, but always very popular and she made friends easily.

‘She wanted to travel the world [and] she applied to be a kibbutz volunteer for three months.

‘After 3 months at Be’eri, Lianne called home to say that she had met a man and was staying on… and on… and on.

‘Engagement and marriage soon followed, with a wonderful wedding and party in Bristol, followed by a trip to Be’eri for an Israeli “wedding party”, with a feast, much drinking and dancing.

‘It was obvious, from our many trips there over the course of 28 years, that Lianne was truly loved by so many on the kibbutz.’

Her brother Ian added: ‘Eli, then Noiya, then Yaheli appeared to complete Lianne, and her reason for living became so much deeper.

Loved ones were seen laying wreaths, portraits and flowers atop the family's graves

Loved ones were seen laying wreaths, portraits and flowers atop the family’s graves

‘Lianne, my little sister, thank you for all you gave to me. You are forever part of me and mine and I expect you to be the same special, my only little sister when we eventually meet again.’

Her brother Steve added: ‘Lianne was my big sister. Big in every way – her love, her personality, her attitude and her mouth!

‘Although I can’t believe Lianne’s gone, I also can’t believe that I was lucky enough to have had her as my sister but also, as my friend.’

Hundreds of well-wishers gathered at the shaded cemetery on the outskirts of the Kfar Hafar kibbutz to pay their respects.

Noiya’s best friend broke down in tears as she paid tribute to her.

She asked: ‘In what world do teenagers bury their teenage friends?

‘Life will never be the same.

‘We are waiting to wake up from this nightmare and you will pop and say you fooled us.’

Several left photos they had of Lianne, Noiya and Yahel on top of their coffins

Several left photos they had of Lianne, Noiya and Yahel on top of their coffins

Young people were seen mourning the loss of their close friends

Young people were seen mourning the loss of their close friends

Loved ones were seen tossing dirt on to their coffins, in line with Hebrew custom

Loved ones were seen tossing dirt on to their coffins, in line with Hebrew custom

Yehal’s friends took turns to describe their love for the 13-year-old, some unable to stop their tears.

Many wore T-shirts calling for the safe return of Lianne’s husband Eli and her brother-in-law Yosi who were kidnapped and are believed to be held as hostages by Hamas.

Soldiers armed with automatic rifles and handguns stood among the mourners.

Meanwhile Israeli Defence Force helicopters flew overhead as they journeyed towards the frontline with Gaza.

Lianne, Noiya and Yehal will be temporarily buried at the Kfar Harif cemetery as they could not be laid to rest at the Be’eri Kibbutz for security reasons.

Harrowing last messages by terrified Lianne were previously revealed by relatives. 

The 48-year-old mother sent a panicked text to her sister-in-law Nira saying she could hear Hamas gunmen ‘shooting and shouting “Die Israel”,’ before begging her to call for help.

Nira Sharabi told MailOnline last week: ‘The last contact I had with Lianne was at about 11am on Saturday morning (October 7th).

‘She sent a message saying: “Nira, I can hear them. They are here at our house. They are shooting and shouting ‘Die Israel’. Please call for help.'”

Hamas terrorists killed the three women in their home in the Kibbutz Be'eri

Hamas terrorists killed the three women in their home in the Kibbutz Be’eri

Noiya was just 16 when she was murdered

Noiya was just 16 when she was murdered

Yahel was 13 years old when she was killed in her own home

Yahel was 13 years old when she was killed in her own home

‘I told her: “Be Strong! I am calling for help!” But ten minutes I lost contact with her and the girls.

‘Later we learned that Lianne and Yahel had been murdered. But we [didn’t] know what happened to Noiya and her dad Eli. All we know is that the terrorists broke into their safe room.

‘Eli had barricaded the door and was holding the handle but the terrorists managed to get it open. When the soldiers went in there was a pool of blood outside the door of the safe room.

‘The terrorists did not burn down the house but they smashed everything up. Everything inside the house was broken. They even shot the dog, Moka. She was found dead under the table in the living room. She had bled to death.’

Hamas also broke into Nira’s house and took her husband Yosi hostage. He is still missing.

Disturbing photos of the Sharabi family home show it covered in blood, with furniture destroyed and their pet dog killed and left to rot in the living room.

A pool of blood was found staining the floor and walls at the entrance to the property’s safe room, where they would shelter from rocket attacks.

Another pool of blood could be seen in the room nearby, next to a child’s wooden bed.



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