Desperate families of Israeli children kidnapped by Hamas – including a baby and a four-year-old taken with their crying mother – broke down on live television as they made heartbreaking pleas for their rescue.
Speaking at a press conference with other families who lost loved ones in the Hamas raid on Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, one relative could not hold back tears as she recounted having seen a video of his cousin being taken away by the terrorists.
At least 203 people were reportedly taken hostage after Hamas’ surprise attack more than a week ago.
The woman, who identified herself as Efrat at the press conference, is related to Shiri Bibas Silverman. She said her cousin and his young family were taken by Hamas.
The video of Shiri holding her two red-headed sons, Ariel, 4, and baby Kfir, covered with a blanket as they were taken from their home, went viral after the terrorists’ bloody invasion.
The woman, who identified herself as Efrat at the press conference, is related to Shiri Bibas Silverman.
Shiri Silberman-Bibas, 30, was allegedly kidnapped along with nine-month-old Kfir and three-year-old Ariel.
Doron Asher Katz, 34, was visiting his mother in Nir Oz, near the Gaza border, with their two daughters, aged two and four, when Hamas attacked
Efrat said the family was “surrounded by terrorists” and “covered in blood, not theirs.”
“It’s the only sign of life we have from them,” she said.
She said that tomorrow would mark 14 days since their abduction, before realizing that one of the children, Kfir, will be 10 months since her abduction.
She said: “He was born on January 18. I don’t want to be sitting here in two months at a press conference celebrating its first anniversary.
“On Monday we received a photo of Yarden, their father, being driven into the Gaza Strip on a motorbike. He suffered a serious head injury. We don’t know anything, we don’t have photos of my uncle and aunt. We have only received confirmation that they are not among the dead and that they are probably there too.
“My aunt suffers from severe Parkinson’s disease. She is without medication. I don’t know if the baby has formula. He still doesn’t eat well to survive.
“It’s torture,” she said.
She added: “These are innocent civilians, innocent children. In difficult conditions. They are neither a pawn nor a game in a war. They must be released and released now.
‘It’s crazy. It’s a nightmare.’
In the video, she appears unable to continue and puts her head in her hands.
Nine-year-old Ohad Munder was due to celebrate his birthday this weekend before disappearing following the bloody Hamas invasion on October 7.
“Unfortunately, he won’t be able to celebrate his birthday,” Merav Raviv said at today’s press conference, adding that his mother had already sent out the invitations.
She paid tribute to the missing boy who she described as “talented” and “sporty”.
Horrifying video shows the moment an Israeli mother and her two young sons are dragged screaming from their home near the Gaza border by Hamas terrorists before disappearing.
Shiri and her little boys appear to have been pushed into armored vehicles by Hamas fighters after their village was stormed.
Images posted on social media showing Shiri sobbing as she and her children were taken away by the activists have sparked anxiety.
Shiri Silberman-Bibas, 30, was hiding in a secure room with her husband Yarden and their children Kfir and Ariel when Israel was invaded by terrorists on October 7.
Armed with just a small pistol, Yarden hoped to defend his family and their home on Kibbutz Nir Oz as villages were attacked – in an attack that saw hundreds of Israelis killed and dozens taken hostage.
Half an hour later, he wrote menacingly, “They’re coming,” before communication stopped.
There has been no news of the family since and Shiri’s parents, Yosi and Margit Silberman, who are in their sixties, are also missing and may be kidnapped.
Later, a video emerged showing the distraught mother hugging her two children as they were kidnapped, with no sign of their father, as horrified onlookers shouted: “She’s having a baby.”
Footage posted on social media showing Shiri sobbing as she and her children were taken away by the terrorists has sparked anxiety in the Jewish community around the world.
The mother’s expression of terror and photos of her innocent sons in happier times were used by protesters around the world to illustrate the terror inflicted on Israel by Hamas.
At a vigil outside Downing Street in London, distraught Israelis held up photos of the mother and her boys being kidnapped, with a sign pleading: “Let the children go.”
Devastated relatives have spoken of their horror at seeing the footage, with Shiri’s cousin Yosi telling Sky News that the disappearance of a family member made him “want to go and fight”.
“The first time I saw the photos, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“I couldn’t understand what I saw, then I looked at another photo and it was very clear that it was my cousin Shiri and the two little children.”
“My fear is that they separated them, that they separated them, that they killed them, that they will be injured, that we will not see them again, that we will not even get any information with them and that we will stay in this place.” empty forever.
The whereabouts of three-year-old Ariel and nine-month-old Kfir are unknown after Hamas terrorists kidnapped their family.
Grandparents Margit and Yosi and parents Yarden and Shiri have not been heard from since Saturday
Crying Israelis hold vigil outside Downing Street, holding photos of Kfir and Ariel
Shiri’s niece, Yifat Zailer, who spoke to The New York Times, said she would not rest until her loved ones returned home.
“I just hope they are alive and together. And I want them home, with me, so I can hold them tight again,” she said.
“We think those responsible don’t know what to do, because this is a situation we have never faced before. This is the feeling in Israel,” she added. ‘It’s a catastrophe.’
Other families were captured during the attack on Nir Oz.
Yoni Asher, a father of two, said he received a panicked call from his wife informing him that terrorists had broken into the house.
Doron Asher Katz, 34, was visiting his mother in the settlement with their two daughters, aged two and four, when Hamas attacked.
After losing contact with her, Mr Asher saw a video on social media of them being loaded into a trolley by activists.
“I probably identified my wife, my two daughters and my mother-in-law on some kind of cart, and the Hamas terrorists all around them,” he said.
He was able to locate his wife’s cell phone and found that it was in Khan Yunis, a town in the southern Gaza Strip.
He said: “My two little girls, they are just babies, they are not even five years old or three years old.
“I don’t know in what conditions they are captive. I don’t know what happened to them.
Mr. Asher directly called on Hamas not to harm his family and even offered to trade for their safe return.
Israeli airstrikes on Gaza continue and Israel’s defense minister told troops to prepare for a ground attack on Palestinian territory, although he did not say when that would begin.
More than a million Palestinians, about half of Gaza’s population, have fled their homes in the north and Gaza City after Israel asked them to evacuate.
Airstrikes continued Thursday morning across the territory, including areas in the south that Israel had declared “safe zones.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Wednesday that limited humanitarian aid would be allowed to enter Gaza from Egypt following a request from US President Joe Biden.
The war, which began Oct. 7 after Hamas militants stormed into Israel and Israel vowed to destroy the terror group, has become the deadliest of Gaza’s five wars for both sides.
Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said Thursday that 3,785 Palestinians had been killed and nearly 12,500 others injured.
More than 1,400 people were killed in Israel, most of them in the initial attack.