Former Israeli pro soccer player Lior Asulin was killed during the brutal Hamas attack over the weekend while celebrating his 43rd birthday.
Auslin, a striker, was partying at a “nature party” music festival at a resort near Kibbutz Re’im when gunmen opened fire, killing the footballer and many others, according to reports.
One survivor told Israel’s Channel 12 she saw about 50 terrorists in military gear arrive in vans and started shooting at anyone in sight.
“They fired bursts, and we reached a point where everyone stopped their vehicles and started running,” the survivor said.
“I went into a tree, a bush like this, and they just started spraying people. I saw masses of wounded people thrown around and I’m in a tree and trying to understand what’s going on.”
The Hapoel Tel Aviv soccer team — who signed Auslin to a four-year contract in 2007 — released a statement on X that they’re deeply saddened by his death.
His former Bnei Sakhnin coach Eyal Lachman also released a statement, saying Asulin was “a guy with a heart of gold, that was his most outstanding characteristic.”
“They always said that his most outstanding characteristic was to give back, I saw that the most outstanding characteristic was to give his friends his soul.”
Auslin played for several teams during his pro soccer career … and was even one of the top strikers in the Israeli domestic league in 2004.
He scored 88 goals and won the 2004 Israeli Cup with Bnei Sakhnin.
Asulin’s 43rd birthday was Saturday.