A Briton has spoken of the horror and helplessness of not knowing whether his relatives are alive or dead after they were ambushed by Hamas gunmen in Israel.
Dr. Arad Haggai said his aunt and uncle are missing and feared kidnapped after terrorists attacked Kibbutz Nir Oz, two miles from Gaza, and massacred more than 100 residents.
Dr. Haggai’s uncle, Gad Haggai, 73, and his English professor wife, Judih Weinstein, 72, were walking Saturday morning when Judih texted to tell relatives they had been attacked.
She sent messages to a family WhatsApp group saying her husband “had been injured” and asked for help.
In another message to the kibbutz security chief, she called an ambulance and said she had also been injured.
Dr. Arad Haggai. Dr. Haggai said his aunt and uncle are missing and feared kidnapped after terrorists attacked Kibbutz Nir Oz, two miles from Gaza, and massacred more than 100 residents.
Dr. Haggai’s uncle, Gad Haggai, 73, and his English teacher wife, Judih Weinstein, 72, in the park. They were walking Saturday morning when Judih sent a text message to tell her family that they had been attacked.
Dr Haggai, a surveyor who lives 2,200 miles away in Essex, said: “That’s the last we heard from them.” The ambulance did not reach them because they set it on fire.
‘There was a large-scale massacre at the kibbutz and of the 400 people who lived there, around 30 percent were killed or kidnapped.
“There were rapes, beheadings and bodies were burned. It was total chaos.
‘I don’t know what happened to my uncle and aunt. What has led us to believe that they may have been kidnapped is that a day later a signal from their phone was captured in Gaza.
Of course, it could mean that their phone was stolen and they were shot dead. But their bodies have not been found and no one knows what happened to them.
‘It is a very difficult situation in Israel, and perhaps their bodies are in a morgue somewhere, but we remain hopeful that they have been kidnapped. I hope they can be released, especially since they are elderly people.
‘My heart goes out to everyone present. People were simply massacred in cold blood.
“It’s even scarier because both my uncle and aunt are pacifists and fight for equality.”
In a social media post, Weinstein described herself as a mindfulness teacher who practiced Tai Chi and Qigong.
“I’m a fan of Tibetan Buddhism, gamification, psychology, a brief history of humanity, a beginner’s guide to irrationality, the future of storytelling, design, poetry, integrative medicine and everything that is fascinating”.
She was born in Toronto, Canada and moved to Israel about 35 years ago after getting married.
Her missing husband is a retired musician and chef.
The couple are grandparents and have two sons, Rahm and Al, and two daughters, Iris and Zohar. His children live in Colorado, Singapore and Israel.
Judih Weinstein on the street waving. During the attack, Weinstein sent messages to a family WhatsApp group saying that her husband “had been hurt” and asked for help. In another message to the kibbutz security chief, she called an ambulance and said she, too, had been injured.
Gad Haggai on the road. Mr. Haggai is a retired musician and chef. The couple are grandparents and have two sons, Rahm and Al, and two daughters, Iris and Zohar.
Gad Haggai and his family. The couple’s children live in Colorado, Singapore and Israel.
Dr Haggai added: ‘My family is going through the most traumatic and terrible experience, as are many Jewish families, who do not know if their relatives have been kidnapped or murdered.
‘We do not want to see more bloodshed either between Palestinians or Israelis. All lives are precious.
‘This is exactly what my uncle and aunt, who are pacifists, would say.
‘The killings and shootings that occurred on Saturday have had terrible consequences even for my children.
‘My 14-year-old daughter was bullied this week at school for being Jewish and someone told her, “I hope your Jewish uncle is dead.”‘
And he added: ‘Terrorism affects everyone, even children in distant countries. Luckily the school was very good and took charge of the situation very quickly and spoke to the student involved.’