Elderly couple, abducted by Hamas, tell how they refused to be taken to Gaza

Moshe and Diana Rosen, injured by gunfire, were dragged by 5 terrorists across boundary, but then declared they would not go any further; captors eventually told them to turn back

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Screen capture from video of Moshe and Diana Rosen, who were injured and abducted by Hamas terrorists but refused to be taken captive in Gaza, October 11. 2023. (Channel 12. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Screen capture from video of Moshe and Diana Rosen, who were injured and abducted by Hamas terrorists but refused to be taken captive in Gaza, October 11. 2023. (Channel 12. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

An elderly Israel couple recounted Wednesday how they were abducted by a gang of terrorists during Hamas’s murderous onslaught in the south of the country on Saturday, but then refused to be taken hostage in Gaza, with their captors eventually giving up and telling them to go home.

Moshe and Diana Rosen were both injured in their hands by gunfire as terrorists marauded through Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, where they have lived together for 50 years.

The kibbutz, close to the Israel-Gaza border, was one of the communities overrun when the Hamas terror group sent over 1,500 gunmen into Israel. The border fence was breached in a multi-pronged assault that included a barrage of 5,000 rockets at towns and cities across the country.

More than 1,300 Israelis were killed, most of them civilians, and an estimated 150 live and dead captives were taken to Gaza. Videos showed many of them being abused.

The Rosens, speaking from Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus where they are being treated, told Channel 12 that they were woken on Saturday morning by rocket alert sirens, sending them rushing for safety in their home’s shelter room.

“We are used to this nightmare, but very quickly we understood that this was a different kind of event,” Moshe said. “At a certain point, there was a notification that terrorists had entered the [Nir Yitzhak] community.”

“We heard loud knocking on the front door,” he recounted. “I said to Diana, ‘They are inside the home; they are here.'”

Screenshot of a Hamas video said to show an explosion blowing up part of the Israel-Gaza border fence on October 7, 2023 (via X)

The couple said they could hear the terrorists tearing their home apart, smashing glass, overturning tables.

“With a tremendous effort” the couple managed to prevent the invaders from opening the door to the sealed safe room “but they shot the lock and the door opened,” Moshe said. “We were injured in our hands when we were hit by a volley of bullets as we tried to stop them coming in.”

Five terrorists grabbed the couple and began walking them toward the Gaza Strip.

“We arrived at the [border] fence and it was broken open,” Moshe said.

“They told us to be quiet and indicated with a hand to the throat that if we speak it will be the end of us,” Diane said as she sat beside him on his hospital bed.

“They are monsters, there is no other word for it,” she said. “How much hatred, and for what? For what?”

But as they were brought into Gaza territory the couple became defiant, refusing to go any further.

“We dared to tell the terrorists that we simply aren’t going to Gaza,” Moshe said. “We told them we are injured, bleeding, and need to go to a hospital. Of course, their leader didn’t accept that. I said to him [in English] ‘ambulance, hospital,’ and he said ‘Gaza.'”

Then, as the standoff continued, the terrorists abruptly told the couple in English “Okay, go.”

Moshe and Diana said they cautiously began to walk back.

“We turned around and walked. During those long moments, we feared they would shoot us. We didn’t turn around to see what he was doing,” Moshe said.

The couple returned to their home which, he said, “basically already didn’t exist.”

“No home,” agreed Diane.

However, their saga was not yet over. It took nearly a day until the couple arrived at the Jerusalem hospital for treatment.

Screen capture from video of Moshe and Diana Rosen with Dr. Aryeh Kandel at Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, October 11. 2023. (Channel 12. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Dr. Aryeh Kandel, director of the orthopedics department at the hospital, told Channel 12 that the couple had both suffered injuries to their hands. Diana, he said, could soon be released, but Moshe will need further treatment.

However, after having remained together in the face of the terrorist assault, they weren’t about to be separated.

“I explained that to the couple, but Diana said that if Moshe is staying behind, then she is interested in staying with him, if it is okay from our point of view.”

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