Kibbutz Nir Oz: Tragic testimonies from hostages and families emerge
The testimonials paint a picture of the agony faced by those still held captive, the grief of families, and the urgent need for international intervention
In a heart-wrenching display of the human toll of conflict, members of Kibbutz Nir Oz shared their harrowing experiences during an emotional tour organized by The Hostages and Missing Families Forum Headquarters.
The testimonials paint a picture of the agony faced by those still held captive, the grief of families, and the urgent need for international intervention.
Sharon Alony Cunio, recently released from Hamas captivity with her 3-year-old twin daughters Yuli and Emma, spoke of their ordeal. "My daughters had to pee and poop in the sink and trash can for 52 days. There were days that I had nothing to give to them when they cried their eyes out, their precious voices were weak from hunger as they cried out for food. I am not willing to give up on the love of my life. I want David to return to us TODAY."
The tour visited haunting locations around the kibbutz, including the nursery where caregiver Maya Goren was kidnapped.
A somber birthday celebration was held for 1-year-old hostage Kfir Bibas, and orange balloons were flown in his honor. Another significant site was the burned-down home of released 85-year-old hostage Yocheved Lifshitz.
Daniel Lifshitz, grandson of Oded (83) and Yocheved (85) Lifshitz, stood atop the ashes of his grandparents' house, delivering a poignant plea. "My grandparents' life work was transporting patients from Gaza for medical treatment, and using every tool at their disposal to make the world a better place. I call for an immediate ceasefire and pause in fighting. This is the first crucial step towards negotiating the release of the hostages, signaling our commitment to a peaceful resolution."
Srulik Kalvo, son of Amiram (85) and Nurit (79) Cooper, highlighted the dire conditions faced by those held captive in Gaza. "Imagine 85 years olds trying to survive in this environment without their medicine, without even an aspirin."
Amir Alfassa, nephew of Maya Goren (56), who was murdered by Hamas, shared the tragic circumstances surrounding her death. "Maya woke up very early before the alarms started, she went to the nursery to get it ready. The following day was supposed to be the day the kids return from Sukkot holiday. She was hiding alone here, under one of the beds. And then the terrorists came, they shot her."
Yosi Shnaider, cousin of Shiri Bibas, kidnapped with her husband and two children, 4-year-old Ariel and almost 1-year-old Kfir, spoke from Kfir's perspective. "I cry because I'm afraid, I cry because my mother cries, I cry because my teeth come out, I cry because that's the only way I can talk. When will we be back to the kibbutz?"
Spokesperson for the Hostages and Missing Families Forum headquarters, Liat Bell Sommer, emphasized the dire situation. "One out of four kibbutz members was either kidnapped or murdered. For over 100 days, more than 3 months, 136 hostages have been held by Hamas. Rape and violence is their reality."
Irit Lahav, Spokesperson for Kibbutz Nir Oz, shared her own terrifying experience during the attack. "The fear that takes hold when you know they are going door to door is paralyzing."
Prof. Hagai Levine, Head of the Medical Team, Hostages Families Forum, underscored the urgent need for medical attention for the hostages.
"The hostages have basic human rights to receive medical treatment and medications. The fact that the ICRC was not allowed to visit them, all of them, is a disgrace to humanity."