21 kids from 13 families without parents after Hamas attack; one is 4-year-old hostage

Welfare Ministry figure includes 16 cases in which both parents were murdered by terrorists; remaining kids had one parent killed while other was kidnapped or is missing

A children's swing hangs at a house attacked by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023, seen in Kibbutz Be'eri, October 14, 2023. (AP/Ariel Schalit)
A children's swing hangs at a house attacked by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023, seen in Kibbutz Be'eri, October 14, 2023. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

The Welfare Ministry on Sunday announced that at least 21 children in 13 families were left without parents due to Hamas’s devastating onslaught against southern Israel on October 7.

The figure includes 16 cases in which both parents were killed, while the remaining children had one parent killed while the other was taken captive or has been missing since the deadly assault two weeks ago.

The children include a 4-year-old girl held hostage in Gaza. Another young girl’s mother was murdered and her father is being held captive, the ministry added.

Social workers with the ministry were working to identify all such children and provide them and their guardians with all the resources necessary.

“The fact that so many children are victims of the brutal Hamas attack turns the stomach,” Welfare Minister Yaakov Margi said in a statement.

He pledged the state would look out for these children “for their entire lives and will not spare any resource in helping them rehabilitate.”

Sorting children’s books and toys donated for families evacuated from the southern and northern borders, at the Civilian Operations Hub, Expo Tel Aviv, October 19, 2023. (Sue Surkes/Times of Israel)

Since the October 7 massacre by Hamas, some 200,000 Israelis have been internally displaced. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office said Sunday that about half of the 200,000 were instructed to evacuate from 105 communities near the Gaza and Lebanon borders in the south and north, while half left areas close to the front of their own volition.

Israel is more than two weeks into a war with Hamas after the Iran-backed terror group’s murderous assault on the country, in which some 2,500 terrorists streamed into Israel by land, sea, and air, killing some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and injuring thousands more. The terror group and other factions dragged at least 212 of all ages into Gaza.

Composite of hostages held in Gaza by Hamas after the invasion of 2,500 terrorists on October 7, 2023, leaving 1,400 dead and some 220 taken captive. (Courtesy the Kidnapped From Israel campaign website/ Dede Bandaid, Nitzan Mintz & Tal Huber. Designed by Shira Gershoni & Yotam Kellner)

Israel says its campaign in Gaza is aimed at destroying Hamas’s infrastructure, and has vowed to eliminate the entire terror group, which rules the Strip. It says it is targeting all areas where Hamas operates, while seeking to minimize civilian casualties.

In the north, Hamas ally Hezbollah, also an Iranian proxy, has fired dozens of anti-tank guided missiles, rockets, and mortars at Israeli military positions and Israeli towns since the October 7 Hamas onslaught, while also sending gunmen — some affiliated with Palestinian terror groups — to infiltrate into northern Israel.

Several drones have also been intercepted over northern Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah on Sunday that it would be “making the mistake of its life” if it decided to enter the war.

Most Popular
read more: