Conflicts & War

Bittersweet Homecoming: Freed Israeli hostages embrace families in emotional reunions

Jerusalem, Nov 26 (EFE).- The Israeli women and children, held hostage by the Hamas Islamist group for 50 days, have finally reunited with their families in a heartwarming reunion after being released over the weekend.

The emotional gathering, marked by tears of joy, was overshadowed by concerns for the safety of those still in Hamas captivity.

Among the released individuals is Adva Adar’s grandmother, Yaffa Adar, 85, from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

She has not yet recovered from the shock of having lost her grandmother, who was part of the first group of 13 Israelis released on Friday.

Adva expressed gratitude for her grandmother’s safe return but highlighted the ongoing struggle for those still held captive. Yaffa’s grandson, Tamir, remains in Hamas captivity.

“Fortunately, we were lucky enough to be able to hug her again. We are trying to recover as a family. We are trying to help her recover,” Adva said in a virtual press conference on Sunday.

“My grandmother is strong. I am proud to see how she survived this, the strength she has shown, and her ability to maintain hope,” she said. “The fight is not over for other hostages.”

She said they needed every one of the hostages back. “We will not be able to rebuild this country again without the return of each and every one of them.”

The conflict escalated on Oct. 7, when thousands of Hamas fighters carried out a massive attack against Israel.

Islamist militants crossed into Israel on that day, massacred 1,200 people, and kidnapped 240 from Israeli villages near the Palestinian enclave.

Israel declared war, and its air, naval, and land forces began a strong offensive on the Palestinian enclave that killed 14,800 people, most of them children and women.

The brutal Israeli military campaign did not stop until Friday, when both parties agreed to a temporary ceasefire brokered by Egypt, Qatar, and the United States.

As part of the agreement, Israel and Hamas exchanged captives. The truce also allowed humanitarian aid into the devastated Gaza Strip.

Israel has freed 78 Palestinian women and teenagers, while Hamas has freed a total of 41 people, including 26 Israelis, 14 Thais, and a Filipino.

In October, the militant group freed two American and two elderly Israeli women. Israel has confirmed the deaths of two hostages: a soldier and a civilian.

On Sunday, the Israeli Army shared emotional photos and videos depicting the reunions, underscoring the bittersweet moments as families discovered the loss of some members during the conflict.

Ohad Munder, 9, a resident of Kibbutz Nir Oz, was released along with his mother, Keren Munder, and his grandmother, Ruti Munder.

The video shows the boy talking with Israeli soldiers aboard a military helicopter with his family on their way to a hospital.

Their reunion with their loved ones was poignant, as they learned that other family members were murdered on Oct. 7.

“It was very emotional. We were all crying,” Keren’s cousin, Merav Mor Raviv, said.

Related Articles

Back to top button