In a tragic turn of events, ten members of a family, the descendants of a Holocaust escapee, have been reported missing following a gruesome slaughter at a Hamas kibbutz. The patriarch of the family, Avraham Havron, had escaped Germany prior to World War II and had established a peaceful, close-knit community in Israel, where his descendants now lived. The devastating attack by Hamas has seen over 120 people murdered, and a number of others, including ten members of the Havron family, kidnapped, with their current whereabouts presumed to be the terrorist-run underground tunnels of Gaza. As the international community reels from the news, the surviving family members desperately appeal for help and action for the safe return of their loved ones.
Background of the Havron Family
Origins in 1930s Germany
The Havron family has an enduring and controversial history. Its origin can be traced back to 1930s Germany during a time of uncertainty and escalating hostility. As anti-Semitism intensified in Germany, the Havron family understood the looming danger. They made the informed yet challenging decision to leave their home country and seek refuge elsewhere.
Escape from Nazi oppression
Occupied by a profound apprehension, the Havron family, steadfast and resilient, fled Nazi oppression in Germany. Their escape plan involved a drastic move to an unassuming stretch of land located between Lebanon and Egypt, adjacent to the Mediterranean. This land would later become a sanctuary to the Havrons and, ultimately, a locale of immense importance to their future generations.
Establishment of the Be’eri kibbutz
With the outbreak of World War II and the ruthless Nazi assault on the Jews, the vision of Avraham Havron, a member of the family, began to materialize. Alongside his wife, Rina, Avraham established the Be’eri kibbutz in 1947. This vision demanded nothing more than to foster a peaceful community where equality, unity, and mutual contribution were its pillars.
Details on Historical Holocaust Escapee
Avraham Havron’s early life
Avraham Havron was a mere 7-year-old when his family fled Germany. His early life was remarkably impacted by their escape and the formation of a new life in a different land. These profound experiences shaped young Avraham’s perspectives, allowing him to conceive and nurture the notion of a harmonious communal living.
His move to the land between Lebanon and Egypt
His family’s move to the land between Lebanon and Egypt wasn’t just a physical transportation but a migration of dreams, aspirations, and hopes for a better, safer life. This move significantly contributed to Avraham’s vision of a utopian community, free from prejudices, discrimination, and hatred.
His vision for a peaceful, communal community
Arising from the flames of adversity and fostered by a resilient optimism, Avraham Havron envisioned a peaceful, communal society. This vision birthed the Be’eri kibbutz in the Negev desert, a communal farming village founded on the principles of equality and unity.
The Be’eri Kibbutz: A Community Built on Unity
Establishment of the kibbutz in 1947
The Be’eri kibbutz was founded in 1947, under the thoughtful guidance of Avraham and Rina Havron. Despite its humble beginnings, this kibbutz borne out of their shared dream aimed to echo the values of equality, mutual contribution, and community living.
Rina and Avraham Havron’s vision and values
Rina and Avraham Havron, with their compassionate hearts and progressive ideologies, sought to create a community where togetherness was celebrated, and individuals contribute for the collective good. Their granddaughter, Shira Havron, described their vision as being rooted in “values of equality and community and togetherness.”
Contributions of the Havron family to the kibbutz
The Havron family’s contribution to the Be’eri kibbutz was invaluable and far-reaching. They dedicated their lives to the successful functioning of the kibbutz, ensuring it stood as a testament to their commitment towards equality, unity, and mutual progress. However, the kibbutz that they loved dearly and committed their lives would be a scene of devastating violence and loss.
The Hamas Attack and Kidnapping
Events of the attack on Be’eri kibbutz
76 years after its foundation, the Be’eri kibbutz turned into ground zero for a horrifying massacre by Hamas. Masked in brutality, the attackers unleashed violence and terror on the peaceful residents of the kibbutz.
Casualties of the attack
The result of the attack was a staggering loss of life, with over 120 residents killed, including young, innocent children. The remaining people, consumed by fear and shock, grappled with the magnitude of the tragedy.
Report of missing Havron family members
In the unfolding chaos and ensuing loss, ten members of the Havron family were reported missing. The family, previously the pillars of the kibbutz, were now plunged into the heart-wrenching uncertainty about the fate of their missing members.
International Involvement in the Crisis
European citizenship of missing family members
As seven of the ten missing members held dual citizenship with European countries and Israel, the tragedy demanded international attention. Shira Havron, who lives in Tel Aviv, traveled to Brussels to meet with European Union leaders in order to raise awareness and garner support for the urgent search of the presumed hostages.
Shira Havron’s meeting with EU leaders
At the European Parliament, Shira Havron passionately urged the leaders present to act swiftly and decisively in order to locate and secure the release of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. She relentlessly argued for more than just vocal solidarity; she demanded actions to match the declarations of sympathy.
Appeals for international intervention
As Shira Havron said, “It’s easy to speak and to listen, and eventually we have an expectation to see actions from that.” By stating this, she reinforced the urgent necessity for international intervention to rescue the kidnapped members of her family.
The Legacy of Avraham Havron
His death at age 97
Avraham Havron passed away at the age of 97, leaving behind a legacy of communal unity, mutual growth, and resilient optimism. His dream of a harmonious, prejudice-free community was realized in the establishment of the Be’eri kibbutz.
Lives and commitments of his two daughters
Following in their father’s footsteps, Avraham’s daughters committed their lives to the Be’eri kibbutz. Shoshan Haran devoted her time to fighting the global hunger crisis through her NGO Fair Planet, while Lilach Kipnis supported trauma survivors through her work as a social worker.
Significance of Havron family’s contributions to the Be’eri kibbutz
The incredible sacrifices and commitments of the Havron family members significantly shaped the Be’eri kibbutz. The family’s philanthropic and community-focused endeavors have considerably contributed to the establishment and growth of the kibbutz.
The Missing Havron Family Members
Professions and impact of the missing individuals
The missing family members held an array of professional roles, each contributing uniquely and indispensably to society. Their absence created a gap and profound sadness within the kibbutz and their immediate community.
Their dual citizenship
The missing family members were not only valued citizens of Israel but also held European citizenships. This dual citizenship opened the path for an international call to action for their safe return.
Family’s belief they are held hostage in Gaza
Despite the lack of official information from the authorities regarding the missing family members, the Havrons held the firm belief that their loved ones were taken hostage and held captive in Gaza.
The Aftermath of the Hamas Attack
Eyewitness accounts of the brutality
Eyewitness accounts of the attack painted a horrifying picture of the atrocities committed by Hamas. Yossi Landau, commander of the aid organization ZAKA South, described the sheer level of brutality, “I saw babies murdered. I saw children murdered. … I saw children and teenagers tied together and burned to death.”
Physical damage to the Be’eri kibbutz
The physical destruction of the Be’eri kibbutz was immense, with homes torched and community buildings razed. The landscape of the kibbutz was irrevocably scarred, reminding the surviving residents of the ghastly violence that unfolded.
Death of Eviatar Kipnis’s caretaker, Paul Castelvi
In the aftermath, the Havron family learned of the tragic passing of Eviatar Kipnis’s caretaker, Paul Castelvi, a stark reminder of the individual tragedies embedded within this large-scale attack.
The Havron Family’s Hopes and Fears
Family’s hopes of finding missing members alive
Despite overwhelming fear and sadness, the Havron family held onto their shared hope of finding their missing members alive. Their belief was driven by love, and bolstered by the ping from a missing relative’s cellphone detected from Gaza.
The impact of cellular pinging from Gaza
The cellular pinging from Gaza brought about a new wave of determination within the Havron family. This small hint renewed their faith, emerging as a beacon of hope amidst the despair.
Grappling with the destruction of their homes
The Havron family found themselves grappling with the devastating loss of their homes, adding a layer of personal loss to the community-wide tragedy. Beyond the physical destruction of their property, they mourned the disintegration of their sense of safety, unity, and shared history.
Impact and Significance of the Havron Family Tragedy
How this event underlines the brutality of the terrorist attack
The Havron family tragedy further underscored the severity and inhumanity of the Hamas attack. The influence and reputation of the Havron family brought about a national and international spotlight onto the incident, emphasizing the horrific nature of the assault inflicted upon the Be’eri kibbutz and its inhabitants.
Wider implications for Israeli society
The brutal attack did not just affect the Be’eri kibbutz but also had wider ramifications for Israeli society, creating an unsettling sense of insecurity and fear, while challenging the principles of unity and community living.
Reflections from remaining surviving family members
For the remaining survivors of the Havron family, the tragedy has been an unfathomable ordeal. They hold onto their memories, their hope, and their resilience—even amidst such adversity. The courage and resilience articulated by Shira Havron manifests the indomitable spirit of the Havron family, encapsulating their legacy and echoing their profound commitment to peace, community, and unity.