Meet the Social Worker Delivering News of Identified Bodies to Be’eri Members

    Editorial credit: Jose HERNANDEZ Camera 51/

    Sandra Peltz and Her Tough Responsibility

    Over the last two weeks, Sandra Peltz, an Arad resident, has spent most of her time in the Dead Sea area, where the kibbutz Be’eri members who survived the Hamas attack were relocated. Peltz has been given the responsibility of informing these people of news regarding identified bodies.

    She says it has taken some time to build trust with the Be’eri members, who claim that the Israeli government has neglected them. At first, Peltz reveals that the members ordered her to take off her vest to confirm she wasn’t wearing any recording device. She was able to talk to them after complying and has since fostered a healthy relationship with them.

    Peltz managed to obtain a list of people that kibbutz members believe were murdered. Still, she emphasizes the need to be certain before delivering death news, even if the members claim they witnessed the suspected victims being murdered. Some of the identified bodies of Be’eri members have already been buried.

    Meanwhile, some families still don’t know the whereabouts of their loved ones. In a number of cases, Be’eri residents say they saw people dying, but there are no bodies found to support these claims.

    Peltz, whose first daughter is an Israeli soldier currently engaged in a war with Hamas, keeps hoping that she does not receive heartbreaking news herself. She reveals that she distracts herself from having bad thoughts by engaging in social work.

    The Trauma of Children

    One of the challenges that Peltz has faced while executing her duties is interacting with children who are left behind by their family members murdered by heartless terrorists. She recalls an incident in which she was taking DNA samples of a child who had lost her parents and most of his relatives. Pelts says she broke down and started crying.

    The social worker continues to work closely with the Be’eri leadership in delivering death news to members. Pelts discloses that last week, there was a family whose five of its members were missing. She then received news from Israeli authorities that only a single body was identified. The Kibbutz leadership asked her to wait until the other four members were declared dead before informing the remaining family members of the sad news.

    While Peltz accepted the request, she urged the leadership to deliver the news as soon as possible, arguing that the family might be informed by a different source, like in the case that occurred a few days ago when a Be’eri woman received death news from a friend. 

    Body Identification Process Continues

    Meanwhile, the National Center of Forensic Medicine is still in the process of identifying bodies. The institute director, Doctor Chen Kugel, was featured in a recent interview where he said that the identification process may take longer than expected. Kugel also disclosed that some bodies may not be easy to identify as they are entirely incinerated. Moreover, due to the large number of bodies, the National Center of Forensic Medicine team has had to move its body identification operations to a military facility for forensic work called Shura. On many Israeli websites you can see how much terror really happened on the 7th October massacre.