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“My wife and two daughters were kidnapped by Hamas”

Some families testify to the panic they feel upon learning that their family members have been kidnapped by Hamasduring the Palestinian militant group’s attack on Israel.

The Israeli military says dozens of people, including foreign citizens, were taken to Gaza as hostages during the group’s surprise weekend attack that left more than 700 dead in Israel.

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Although the number of hostages is still uncertain, it is estimated that there are “dozens” of people, including children and the elderly.

In conversation with the BBC, Hamas’ head of international relations, Basem Naim, He said the group was “committed and obliged to treat our hostages in a very humane and dignified manner.”. However, he refused to confirm the number of hostages.

Meanwhile, dozens of Israeli families suffer from the despair of not knowing what is happening to their family members.

These are some of their stories.

“I’m trying to stay calm.”

The first clue Yoni Asher had that his family was in Gaza was tracking his wife’s cell phone.

His wife Doron and their two daughters – Raz, 5, and Aviv, 3 –were with family near the Gaza border when the militants launched the attack.

“Saturday, around 10:30 am, was the last time I spoke to my wife. “He told me that Hamas terrorists had entered the house.”

They were in a safe, secure room when the call was disconnected. Later, I managed to locate his cell phone and he was inside Gaza”.

Later that day, his worst fears seemed to be confirmed when He recognized his family when they were shown for a few seconds in a video in which people were seen being loaded into a truck.

“In the video I recognized my wife and my two daughters, my two babies,” he said.

“I don’t know what terms or conditions they’re on, but you know, the situation is getting a lot worse.”

For now, like the other families, the only thing left for Yoni is to maintain hope. “I’m trying to stay calm. “I want to believe that there is some contact between the diplomats who are negotiating or something like that, but we don’t know anything, that’s the most difficult thing.”

“There is hope to believe that they are alive”

Two of Hadas’ sons, Erez (left) and Sahar (right), are among her family members kidnapped. (IDO DAN).

For Ido Dan, the horror of Saturday’s events was unleashed on his family’s WhatsApp group.

“He is saying goodbye. He’s sending this heart and saying, ‘I love you all, I’m not sure we’re going to survive this,'” Ido says, sobbing as he scrolls through his message stream.

Her cousin, Hadas, who lives in Nir Oz, a kibbutz near Gaza, was updating her family from inside the bomb shelter she ran to when sirens warning of missile launches went off. Early in the morning, he wrote that he could hear armed men shouting in Arabic.

“Something scary is happening here,” he wrote in the group, describing the screams of other kibbutz members, according to Ido. “He said: ‘It’s like a holocaust. They are killing everyone‘. And at 09:00 it was turned off. The battery is dead.”

The fairies survived by blocking the door to their hiding place. But when night came, it became clear that five members of his family were missing. Two of her children and her ex-husband – the children’s father –, as well as her niece and her 80-year-old mother, Ido’s aunt, Carmella.

The main clue as to what happened was a harrowing video that appeared on social media. It appears to show Erez, Hadas’ 12-year-old son, being taken to Gaza by armed men.

“There is hope in believing that they are alive,” says Ido, who lives near Tel Aviv. But she is very afraid: “My aunt is running out of medicine,” she tells me.

The family is trying to find information and has received help from Israeli authorities. “I don’t blame anyone because it’s a really unique situation,” says Ido. “There is a real fog at the moment and we are anxious for it to lift. “Every hour counts.”

With reports of Qatari-sponsored hostage exchange negotiations, Ido has a message for Hamas regarding his family: “Just get them out of this confrontation, it’s not for the children, it’s not for the elderly.”it says.

“I don’t think there is a single rule of war ethics that has not been violated here. Even war has rules, ethics and limits.”

“It looks like a horror movie”

Noam was waiting for his mother to arrive in London next week to celebrate her 75th birthday.  (NOAM SAGI).

Noam was waiting for his mother to arrive in London next week to celebrate her 75th birthday. (NOAM SAGI).

Noam Sagi said his heart sank when Palestinian media began broadcasting outside his 74-year-old mother’s home, located about 400 meters from the Gaza border.

On Saturday afternoon, the Israeli army entered the property of the woman, who has 6 grandchildren, and found stains of blood, but no sign of her, he explained.

Speaking to the BBC, Sagi – who lives in London – said that according to According to his interpretation of the evidence, his mother, who is an Arabic teacher, was among those kidnapped.

“We are talking about someone who is 74 years old who entered a shielded room and is no longer there,” he said.

“He is not on the list of dead, nor on the list of injured, and it is a small community – maximum 350 people – where everyone knows everyone, so they went through the process of identifying everyone.”

The community reported the kidnapping of adults and children, according to Sagi, saying that he still has no official or formal confirmation of his mother’s whereabouts. He says he couldn’t have run much because of recent hip surgery.

“It’s totally surreal, it’s like a horror movie, it’s difficult to understand.”

“Imagine a beautiful rural town here in the UK, where people live their lives and then are thrown out of their homes.”

He added that he is afraid for his mother, who needs medicine.

“Without the medicine, we don’t know how long it can last.”, he said. “I try not to think about negative scenarios, as it is difficult to imagine them.”

Sagi said he plans to see his mother in London next week, when she turns 75.

He described her as a very strong, inspiring and phenomenal woman, adding that he trusted she could “handle the situation.”

Source: Elcomercio

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