Artist Chaim Peri Among Four Israeli Hostages Confirmed Dead


Artist and gallerist Chaim Peri is among four Israeli hostages confirmed dead in Hamas captivity, per a notice from the Israeli military earlier in June. Peri, who was 79 years old, was abducted from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz (Ma’in Abu Sitta for Palestinians) beside the Gaza Strip during Hamas’s October 7 attack. A retired military paratrooper and self-taught artist, he built an exhibition space in Nir Oz called the White House Gallery in a Palestinian house left standing after Israel raided and largely demolished the village in 1948.

Peri was a metalsmith, cinematographer, and draftsperson who was devoted to visual arts. Through the gallery he began building in 1999, he curated and hosted exhibitions that included Palestinian and Bedouin artwork and history.

The artist is also remembered for his work as a volunteer for the nonprofit organization Road to Recovery, in which Israelis escort sick or injured Palestinians, primarily children, through mandatory Israeli military checkpoints at the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and transport them to Israeli hospitals for treatment.

In a tribute before learning of his death, grandson Mai Albini Peri recalled to the Jerusalem Post that his grandfather had taught him to “put yourself in the other side’s shoes no matter how much you don’t like them and how much you don’t agree with them.”

“If my grandfather was here, he would not be calling to flatten Gaza,” Albini Peri said, adding to the Jerusalem Post that he is committed to sharing his messages of peace and empathy.

According to the Times of Israel, military spokesperson Daniel Hagari said that the circumstances of the four hostages’ deaths couldn’t immediately be confirmed, but that Peri and the others are thought to have been killed months ago in the Khan Younis area while the Israeli military had been conducting operations there.

Peri is survived by his wife Osnat, his five children, and his 13 grandchildren.



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