Amid the devastating war in Israel, families of hostages taken by Hamas are sharing heartbreaking stories of their loved ones. With kidnappings being discovered through frantic phone calls and videos posted to social media, the situation has become increasingly dire as Hamas threatens to execute hostages if Israel targets civilian areas. While the exact number of abductees remains uncertain, militants claim over 100, while the Israeli Defense Forces estimate more than 30. The families must now grapple with the uncertainty of their relatives’ fates, unsure if they are alive, held captive, or worse. These accounts are based on interviews with the families and videos that show apparent abductions, highlighting the deeply emotional toll this conflict has taken on innocent lives.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has resulted in the abduction of several individuals, including children, elderly people, and military service members. Families of the victims have been left devastated and anxious as they await information about their loved ones. This article provides an overview of some of the abducted individuals and their families, detailing background information, incident details, and the emotional response of their families.
Carmela Dan, 80; Ofer Kalderon, 50; Sahar Kalderon, 16; Noya Dan, 13; Erez Kalderon, 12
Carmela Dan, 80, has lived on the same kibbutz for 60 years, finding solace in the close-knit community. Her son-in-law, Ofer Kalderon, 50, and her grandchildren, Sahar Kalderon (16), Noya Dan (13), and Erez Kalderon (12), were staying with her when militants threw smoke grenades into homes in an attempt to lure residents out. The family sought refuge in a safe room, but their communication ceased when Israeli officials advised residents to stop using their cellphones.
On Sunday, Abbey Onn, Carmela Dan’s cousin, received distressing news. A colleague informed her that a video posted on Instagram by an influencer showed Erez Kalderon being manhandled by a militant, confirming his abduction. The family was devastated by the news, with Onn describing it as every parent’s worst nightmare.
Family’s emotional response
Carmela Dan is remembered as a humorous and generous individual, deeply connected to her community and the land. The entire family and their neighbors often shared meals in the lush gardens of the kibbutz. The emotional toll on the family is immense, with Onn and other relatives desperately hoping for the safe return of their loved ones.
Doron Asher Katz, 34; Efrat Katz, 67; Aviv Asher, 2; Raz Asher, 5
Yoni Asher received a distressing call from his wife, Doron Katz, who informed him that terrorists had entered the home where she and her relatives were hiding. She expressed fear of speaking too loudly on the phone due to the presence of armed militants. Later, Yoni Asher came across a video on social media that showed his wife, their two young daughters (Raz Asher, 5, and Aviv Asher, 2), and his mother-in-law being taken by Hamas and forced onto a vehicle.
Yoni Asher watched the disturbing video that appeared to capture the abduction of his family members. He fears for the safety of his wife and daughters, especially since both his wife and mother-in-law hold German citizenship. Despite reaching out to the German embassy, Yoni Asher struggles with the lack of updates about his loved ones.
Efforts to find them
Yoni Asher remains determined to bring his wife and children back home safely. He hopes for any information that can assist in their recovery and is actively engaging with the authorities and support networks to facilitate their return.
Shiri Silberman-Bibas, 30, and her 9-month-old and 3-year-old boys
Yifat Zailer anxiously awaits news about her six missing relatives, including her cousin Shiri Silberman-Bibas (30) and Shiri’s husband, parents, and two sons (9 months and 3 years old). She became aware of their abduction through a video shared by a friend, which showed Hamas militants capturing Shiri and her children.
Video evidence of abduction
The video that surfaced showed Shiri Silberman-Bibas being forcefully taken by militants while clutching her two young boys. The fate of her husband and parents remains unknown, as their bodies were not among those discovered in the area.
Family’s anxiety and desire for information
Yifat Zailer expresses her profound longing for news about her missing family. Despite understanding the challenges faced by Israeli authorities due to the magnitude of the event, she implores for support and updates, emphasizing the desperation felt by families searching for their loved ones.
Noa Argamani, 25; Avinatan Or
Noa Argamani (25) and her boyfriend, Avinatan Or, were attending a music festival when they were forcibly separated by Hamas militants. A viral video captured the distressing moment when Noa was forcefully taken on a motorcycle, while Avinatan was overtaken by another group of men.
Video evidence of abduction
The viral video recorded during the music festival showcased Noa Argamani’s desperation as she screamed and tried to reach out for Avinatan Or. The heart-wrenching footage has only increased the anxiety and fear felt by Noa’s family.
Desperate plea from Noa’s father
Yaacov Argamani, Noa’s father, spoke through tears as he made a desperate plea for his daughter’s safety. He implored Noa’s captors not to harm her, underscoring the deep love and concern he has for his only child.
The abduction of individuals by Hamas in Israel has caused immeasurable pain and anguish for their families. As loved ones await information and search for their safe return, the international community must stand in solidarity with these families, offering support and advocating for their prompt release. The stories of Carmela Dan, Ofer Kalderon, Sahar Kalderon, Noya Dan, Erez Kalderon, Doron Asher Katz, Efrat Katz, Aviv Asher, Raz Asher, Shiri Silberman-Bibas, her children, Noa Argamani, and Avinatan Or serve as a grim reminder of the human toll of conflicts, urging for peaceful resolutions and a swift end to their suffering.