BE’ERI, Israel, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Yarden Roman-Gat handed her three-year-old daughter Geffen to her husband, hoping he could run faster to save her, as they fled while being shot at by Hamas gunmen who attacked a kibbutz in southern Israel on Saturday.
Her husband Alon and toddler made it back to the kibbutz after hiding in the woods for 12 hours, her brother Gili Roman said on Friday. She has been missing ever since.
Hamas fighters killed more than 1,300 Israelis in their Oct. 7 attack and more than 1,500 had been killed by Friday in Israel’s ongoing strikes on Gaza in response.
Roman-Gat, a 35-year-old dual Israeli-German national, had left Kibbutz Be’eri a month ago, fearful of the region’s insecurity and had only returned there for a Sabbath visit the day before the raid, Roman said.
“Alon, Yarden and Geffen managed to escape the car (which) took them to Gaza, fled to the woods while being shot at by four terrorists who ran after them while my sister, holding her little kid, transferred her to her husband in order to save her life,” he said.
“We have no track of her since then.”
Roman assumes she was recaptured with her sister in-law and mother in-law. It was not clear at what point those two had been captured.
On Friday, Roman surveyed the wreckage of the family home in Kibbutz Be’eri, an agricultural kibbutz 3 miles (5 km) from Gaza, which was one of the first towns hit in Hamas’ attack.
Stuffed toys are strewn in the dust and fruit, crockery and pans are scattered across surfaces and the floor.
The Hamas attack involved a rocket barrage and assaults by teams of gunmen on kibbutzes and towns in southern Israel surrounding the blockaded Gaza Strip, which the group controls.
The Israeli emergency service Zaka told Reuters that over 100 bodies were retrieved in Be’eri alone. The Israeli military said it killed dozens of Hamas gunmen in the Be’eri area.
“We are talking about our family, three women captured, in captivity, held hostage by the terrorist regime in Gaza,” Roman said, adding relatives and friends had been searching for them since the attack.
“I feel complete devastation and horror even by the sights, by the images, by the understanding of what happened here. But I also feel the highest level of determination to bring my sister back, to bring all of the women, children, citizens, soldiers — all the Israelis back alive to reunite with us.”
Source : reuters