Israel-Hamas War: Latest News – The New York Times

Israel-Hamas War: Latest News – The New York Times
Israel-Hamas War: Latest News – The New York Times

Here’s what we know about the Israeli citizens released on Sunday.

Avigail Idan, 4

Avigail IdanCredit…Hostages and Missing Families Forum

Avigail’s parents, Roy Idan, 43, and Smadar Idan, 38, were killed in Kfar Aza during the Oct. 7 attack. Her two siblings Michael, 9, and Amelia, 6, both survived.

Avigail, who is a dual Israeli and U.S. citizen, turned 4 years old while in captivity. Her name has also been spelled “Abigail” in the U.S. media. President Biden has discussed Avigail in his public remarks and expressed particular gratitude for her release when he spoke to reporters on Sunday before leaving for Washington from Nantucket, Mass., where he marked the Thanksgiving holiday.

Avigail’s uncle and aunt, Amit and Tal Idan, have been taking care of her siblings since the attack.

On the morning of Oct. 7, as terrorists swarmed the kibbutz, Smadar Idan was shot in front of her children, Tal Idan said she was told by Michael and Amelia. Roy Idan was outside the house, holding Avigail in his arms. As Michael and Amelia ran to their father, they watched him get shot and killed while holding their sister. They assumed she was also dead and raced back into their home.

Covered in her father’s blood, Avigail ran toward a neighbor, her aunt said. The man brought Avigail into his home to hide with his wife and children and then left the house to find a gun. “Ten minutes later, when he got back, all were gone,” Ms. Idan said.

After 14 hours of hiding in a closet with their mother’s body on the other side of a fabric partition, Michael and Amelia were rescued by an Israeli soldier and brought to their uncle, Ms. Idan said.

“They are not OK,” she said of Michael and Amelia. “They hear the wind blow, and they are shaking.”

Chen Goldstein Almog, 49; Agam Goldstein Almog, 17; Gal Goldstein Almog, 11; Tal Goldstein Almog, 9

Credit…Hostages and Missing Families Forum

Chen Goldstein Almog was kidnapped from Kibbutz Kfar Aza along with three of her children, Agam, Gal and Tal. Her husband, Nadav Goldstein Almog, 48, and their oldest daughter, Yam, 20, were killed in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack. Nadav and Yam, who was a soldier in the Israeli army, were buried on Oct. 23, Chen’s birthday.

“They are okay, in good condition and they are smiling,” Inbar Goldstein, the aunt of Agam, Gal and Tal, said in a statement released late Sunday. “We will continue the struggle until the last of the hostages returns to us healthy and whole.”

Mr. Goldstein Almog, an executive at Kafrit Industries, a plastics manufacturer founded in Kfar Aza, was an Ironman athlete and was injured several months before the attacks in a cycling accident so was using crutches at the time of the attacks. He grew up in Kfar Aza.

Five members of the extended Almog family were killed 20 years earlier in October 2003, in a terror attack in the Israeli city of Haifa.

At a recent rally in Tel Aviv of Kfar Aza survivors to press for the release of their hostages, David Goldstein, 73, Nadav’s father, who was in Bulgaria with other older members of the kibbutz on Oct. 7, said: “What they took away from us won’t come back. What can be returned must be returned.”

Hagar Brodutch, 40; Ofri Brodutch, 10; Yuval Brodutch, 8; Uriah Brodutch, 4

Credit…Hostages and Missing Families Forum

Hagar Brodutch was kidnapped with her three children from their home in Kfar Aza while her husband and the children’s father, Avichai Brodutch, was out defending the community, he said.

Mr. Brodutch, 42, a farmer and nursing student who survived the attack, said in a recent interview that the family had moved to Kfar Aza about nine years ago. Ms. Brodutch worked as a community manager and a business manager.

Their daughter, Ofri, loves British rock music and, Mr. Brodutch said, had just received a guitar for her birthday days before she was kidnapped. Yuval loves barbecues and soccer and Minecraft on his X-box, while Uriah, who often plays soccer with his brother, is a fan of the French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain.

A week after the attack, Mr. Brodutch began a solo vigil outside the military and government headquarters in Tel Aviv to raise public awareness of his plight and that of the other families of the missing. He said he felt at the time that the country was more focused on revenge against Hamas than on freeing the hostages. Mr. Brodutch turned up for his protest with the family dog and a homemade sign that read, “My family is in Gaza.” He was soon joined by many supporters.

“I think it changed things,” he said.

Dafna Elyakim, 15; Ella Elyakim, 8

Dafna Elyakim and Ella Elyakim reunite with their mother, Maayan Zin.Credit…Maayan Zin

Dafna and Ella were at home with their father, Noam Elyakim; his partner, Dikla Arava; and her son, Tomer, in Kibbutz Nahal Oz during the Oct. 7 attack.

In the early hours of the attack, photos surfaced on the Telegram messaging platform of the two girls sitting on mattresses in a location unfamiliar to their family. A video also emerged: Hamas had livestreamed its attackers questioning Mr. Elyakim, who was bleeding from the leg, and Ms. Arava, using Ms. Arava’s Facebook page to do so. Dafna, Ella and Tomer sat with the couple as terrorists questioned them in the family’s home.

Mr. Elyakim, Ms. Arava and Tomer were killed in the attack, and Dafna and Ella were taken hostage.

The girls’ mother, Maayan Zin, said on Sunday: “After a long period in which I lived in terrible uncertainty, my daughters are finally with me. These were 51 days in which I lived between despair and hope, between pain and optimism.”’

“The girls are returning to a new and complex situation, and now we have a period of recovery that will take time,” their mother added.

In an interview last month, Ms. Zin called on the Israeli government to do “everything, obviously: a prisoner exchange deal, an operation, a back flip in the air,” to bring back her daughters. On Sunday she said, “My heart will not be whole again until everyone returns home safely.”

Aviva Siegel, 62

Aviva Siegel.Credit…Hostages and Missing Families Forum

Aviva Siegel, also known as Adrienne Siegel, was taken from her home in Kfar Aza where she was sheltering with her husband, Keith Siegel, 64. Born in South Africa, she immigrated to Israel with her family as a child.

A kindergarten teacher, Ms. Siegel and Mr. Siegel, a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen who works for a pharmaceutical company, have lived in Kfar Aza for about 40 years. Their children, who were outside the kibbutz, lost touch with them about 10 a.m. on Oct. 7. According to the Israeli news media, a Hamas video surfaced on Telegram the next day showing the couple being driven into Gaza in their own car.

Mr. Siegel is believed to still be in Gaza.

Elma Avraham, 84

Elma AvrahamCredit…Hostages and Missing Families Forum

Elma Avraham was taken hostage from her home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz near the Gaza border. Her house is said to be filled with sculptures, paintings and ceramics that she created.

Dr. Hagai Levine, a public health physician who heads the medical team for the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum, told reporters this month that Ms. Avraham was in urgent need of several heart medications “just to survive.”

Upon her release Ms. Avraham was flown by army helicopter directly from Gaza to the closest Israeli hospital, Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, in serious condition, according to the Israeli military.

Roni Krivoi, 25

Roni KrivoiCredit…Hostages and Missing Families Forum

Roni Krivoi, a Russian-Israeli, was kidnapped from the Tribe of Nova music festival that was taking place near the Gaza border. Mr. Krivoi was working at the open-air rave as a member of the sound crew.

A resident of Karmiel, a town in northern Israel, he had been working in construction while trying to build a career in the world of music and sound.

Mr. Krivoi is the first adult male hostage with Israeli citizenship to have been freed. The Russian government and Hamas said his release came about as a result of direct contacts between them and not as part of the broader prisoner exchange deal.

More than 350 attendees and staff members at the rave were killed during the Hamas-led terrorist attacks on Oct. 7, as gunmen surrounded the site and ambushed partygoers as they ran through fields, hid among bushes, sought refuge in roadside bomb shelters or tried to flee by car.

Gaya Gupta contributed reporting.