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Family reveal hostage of love ones in Israel attack

Families have spoken of the sheer panic of learning their loved ones may have been taken hostage by Hamas, after the militant group attacked Israel.

The Israeli military suggests dozens of people, including foreign nationals, have been taken as captives into Gaza. Here are some of their stories.

The first inkling Yoni Asher had that his family were inside Gaza was by tracking his wife’s mobile phone.

His wife Doron and their two children Raz, 5, and Aviv, 3, were staying with relatives close to the border with Gaza when the militants struck.

Yoni told the BBC: “Saturday, around 10:30 in the morning, was the last call when I spoke with my wife. She told me that terrorists from Hamas had entered the house.

“They were in the safe, secure room then the call got disconnected. Later on, I managed to locate her mobile and it was inside Gaza.”

Later that day, his worst fears were seemingly confirmed when he recognised his family being briefly shown in a video of people being loaded on to the back of a truck.

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

“I don’t know in what terms or what conditions they are held, but you know, the situation is getting much worse. ”

For now, like other families, all Yoni can do is hope. “I’m trying to stay calm. I want to believe there is some contact between the diplomats negotiating or something, but we don’t know anything – that is the hardest thing.”

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

“She’s saying goodbye. She’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 looks back through the torrent of messages.

His cousin Hadas, who lives in Nir Oz, a kibbutz next to Gaza, had been updating her family from within an air raid shelter, where she had run after sirens went off to warn of incoming rocket fire. Early in the morning, she had written that she could hear gunmen shouting in Arabic.

“Something scary is going on here,” she told the group, describing the screaming of other kibbutz members. “She said: ‘It’s like a Holocaust here. They are killing everyone’,” Ido says. “And then at 09:00 she got disconnected. Her battery ran out.”

Hadas did survive – by wedging the door of her hideout closed. But by nightfall, it was clear that five family members were missing: two of Hadas’s children and her ex-husband – their father- as well as her niece and her 80-year-old mother, Ido’s aunt Carmella.

The main clue about what happened was a disturbing video which surfaced on social media. It appears to show Erez, Hadas’s 12-year-old son, being taken by gunmen into Gaza.

“There is hope to believe they’re alive,” says Ido, who lives near Tel Aviv. But he is deeply fearful. “My aunt is out of her medicines,” he tells me. “For the children, we don’t know how they go to the restrooms, how they eat.”

The family is trying to find out information from their contacts and have had little help from the Israeli authorities. “I don’t blame anyone as it’s really a singular situation,” Ido says. “There is a real fog right now, but we can’t wait for it to lift. Every hour matters.”

With reports of hostage negotiations brokered by Qatar now taking place, Ido has a message for Hamas about his family: “Just get them out of this confrontation, it’s not for kids, it’s not for older people,” he says.

“I don’t think there are any war ethics that were not violated here. Even war has rules and ethics and limits.”


Source: BBC

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