newsOctober 7

After 229 days

The stories of the women in the harrowing video

Hamas kidnapped field observers were from the Nahal Oz base on Oct. 7. Five are seen in the abduction video released at the request of their families

The captives shown in the video before and during their captivity. Photo: Courtesy.
The captives shown in the video before and during their captivity. Photo: Courtesy.

Agam Berger

Agam Berger, aged 19, is the twin sister of Li-Yam, born two minutes before her. She’s a gifted violinist, playing since she was 8. She had only been in the position for one day when she was kidnapped from IDF’s Nahal Oz Base.

Her mother, Mirav, said in March, “Agam was supposed to be stationed at the Kerem Shalom crossing. At the last minute, they changed her posting to Nahal Oz. On Thursday [Oct. 5], she went to the base. I sent her a video of us wishing her well. The very next day, just one day into being a field observer at Nahal Oz, she was brutally kidnapped.”

Agam sent messages to her parents from captivity through the released hostage Agam Goldshtein, who was with her for a time. Goldshtein told the parents that their daughter observes Shabbat even in captivity. She described how Hamas terrorists ordered Agam to cook food, but she firmly refused to desecrate Shabbat. She even asked to wish her father a happy birthday, awaiting her return to him.  

Two months ago, the family celebrated a bar mitzvah for Agam’s younger brother, Ilay. He then told Israel Hayom: “It’s very hard for me to celebrate without my older sister Agam. Even in the worst scenarios, I never imagined this important day would look like this. It’s very difficult for me, I’m very sad. We miss her, it’s just not the same without her.”

Liri Albag  

Liri Albag celebrated her 19th birthday in captivity. Her sisters Shay, 22, and Roni, 25, say birthdays have always been among her favorite occasions. She is a joyful girl who always pays attention to every little detail: “She always gets the whole house going a month in advance for a big event with all her friends. She always makes sure everything is beautifully decorated and also has the food she loves prepared for the event.”

Her sisters hope to celebrate her 20th birthday together with her in Thailand.

Liri is an optimistic and strong young woman. People who returned from the first prisoner exchange deal and met Liri in captivity told her family about the conditions she is held in. They noted: “She told us she loves us, that she’s okay and misses us. We understood it was important for her that we know she’s alive. She knows our family and knows we won’t stop fighting for her. She asked us not to forget her and the other captives, to not stop fighting.”

Daniella Gilboa

Daniella Gilboa was also kidnapped from Nahal Oz. Her family and her partner of seven years, Roey Dadon, await her return home. Recently, while Daniella was held captive by Hamas, he proposed to her.

Orly, her mother, later said: “Daniella and Roey have been together as a couple since seventh grade, both studying music at school. Just a week after that dreadful Saturday, they were supposed to celebrate their seven-year anniversary as boyfriend and girlfriend. She was really looking forward to celebrating that weekend.

“A few weeks ago, we had a Torah scroll welcomed into our home, and the rabbi who led the ceremony understood that Roey had been her boyfriend for seven years. He asked him if he had proposed yet and suggested Roey propose—and he did. Now he’s waiting for her to return.”

Daniella graduated with excellence from high school, majoring in music, and even recorded songs awaiting release when she returns.

Since her abduction, Orly has been fighting to bring her daughter home, wavering between great hope and despair. She admits not expecting to need so much strength for this long struggle: “In the first few days after the kidnapping, I told myself there’s no way an event of this magnitude would go on for more than a few days, and I didn’t think we’d reach months in captivity. I ask the decision-makers—think of your own daughters, as if they were there now, and make your decision accordingly. Do what needs to be done to return the captives because they don’t have much time left.”

Karina Ariev

Karina Ariev, from Jerusalem, called her sister Sasha on the morning of Oct. 7 and said she was entering the shelter with her friends.

“Slowly, as the minutes passed, she said there were terrorists in the area, and then you could really hear their voices and the shooting—as we’re talking on the phone. Then she started saying goodbye to me, telling me she loves me, that I should go on living, take care of our parents, and that’s where the conversation ended.”

The family describes her as an innocent and gentle child who always looks out for her family and parents. “For her, family and friends come first.”

Her sister also said, “The longer we see the fighting drag on, the more we worry. Karina is creative and talented, loves to paint, sing and dance, and wants to pursue a career in the beauty industry. She loves helping people and dreams of studying psychology and sociology. She has the ability to truly listen to people, she’s a shoulder to lean on.”

Naama Levy  

It was hard to miss the images of Naama Levy‘s bloodstained clothes as she was led by Hamas terrorists to a military jeep that took her and her friends to Gaza. Her family spoke of her as a quiet and determined athlete, full of compassion and emotion. An optimistic young woman who dreamed of making the world a better place. A woman who believes in the good in people.

Dr. Ayelet Levy Shahar, Naama’s mother, said at an Israel Hayom conference: “My name is Ayelet and I am the mother of 19-year-old Naama Levy. I’m also the mother of Amit, 21, Michali, 16, and Omri, 11.5.

“You all know my Naama. You saw the video of my daughter’s kidnapping, and maybe like me, you looked away in pain, but you saw her dragged by her long, beautiful hair at the back of a jeep in Gaza, dressed in pajamas, handcuffed, bleeding, wounded, barefoot and afraid—those are horrific moments that turned Naama into a daughter of us all.”

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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