Ohad Zwigenberg Associated Press Chanan Choen (left) holds a photo of his sister Margalit Moses, while his wife, Edna Cohen, has another from Mrs. Moses' husband, Gadi Moses. The Moses couple was kidnapped by Hamas fighters in the Nir Oz kibbutz on October 7.
More than three weeks after the kidnapping of their loved ones by Hamas commandos, the anguish of residents of Kibbutz Nir Oz, where many people were killed in the bloody attack by the Palestinian movement on October 7, continues to grow .
Hadas Kalderon spent two decades in this small rural community near the border with the Gaza Strip that was decimated in the attack by Hamas fighters who infiltrated southern Israel on 7 October.
Of around 400 residents, around 100 were killed and 80 taken hostage, according to the Israeli army.
Hadas Kalderon's mother and niece were killed, the 56-year-old says. Her 12-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter were kidnapped.
“Whatever they do, they are in great danger,” she said, walking among the houses burned in the attack .
“I want to believe that our military and our government know what they are doing.”
“I have no control or knowledge of the actions of the army. I only know that my children are still in the middle of the war,” she continues.
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More than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, were killed on October 7 by Hamas commandos, according to Israeli authorities. Hundreds of men from the Palestinian movement infiltrated from Gaza onto Israeli soil, to carry out the deadliest attack since the creation of Israel in 1948.
According to the spokesperson for the Israeli army, Jonathan Conricus, 238 hostages are still in the hands of Hamas.
More than 8,300 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the incessant bombings carried out in retaliation since October 7 by the Israeli army on the Gaza Strip, which is under total siege, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.< /p>
“An agreement immediately”
The fear of the families of the hostages continues to grow, especially since Israel has intensified its strikes and Israeli troops entered Palestinian territory.
The most important thing must be to bring the hostages “home safe and sound,” Hadas Kalderon told reporters during a visit to Nir Oz organized by the Israeli army.
We must “make a deal immediately, without waiting,” she said.
Hamas released four civilians, including an 85-year-old woman from Kibbutz Nir Oz. The Israeli army announced Monday that it had released a soldier during a ground operation and said she was doing well.
As the humanitarian crisis worsens in Gaza, where 2.4 million people are crammed together, Israel has called for the unconditional release of the hostages. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out a ceasefire.
The shelling can be heard in Nir Oz, about 2 kilometers from the border, where soldiers have taken up military positions recently erected.
The survivors of the kibbutz were evacuated, but some were able to return to these lands briefly.
Ran Pauker, an 86-year-old man, escaped the attack because on October 7 he was with his daughter in the neighboring town of Sderot.
“I am very worried because our government has forgotten us. They didn't take care of us and I hope the killing (in Gaza, editor's note) will stop,” he said. The octogenarian speaks of his “very good friends in Gaza”, who in the past came to his house.
He also says that the priority is the release of the hostages. “And then we will have to find a solution to the problem” between the Israelis and the Palestinians, “our neighbors,” he adds. “Without this, there will never be peace.”