Hostage’s wife gives birth to couple’s second child, 5 months into his captivity

Michal Lubnov and newborn doing well and surrounded by family, hospital says; Michal has said every day is a struggle, but husband Alex ‘needs me strong and fighting, for the kids’

Alex Lubnov, pictured here with wife Michal, was the head barman at Supernova, when he was captured on October 7, 2023 by Hamas terrorists who attacked the desert rave (Courtesy)
Alex Lubnov, pictured here with wife Michal, was the head barman at Supernova, when he was captured on October 7, 2023 by Hamas terrorists who attacked the desert rave (Courtesy)

The wife of an Israeli held hostage in Gaza gave birth to their second child on Friday, as her husband spent his 147th day in Hamas captivity.

Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Medical Center said Michal Lubnov and her newborn son were doing well and surrounded by family.

Alex Lubnov, 32, was the head barman at the Supernova desert party, and has been missing since the morning of October 7, when Hamas terrorists launched an assault on the festival, massacring and kidnapping partygoers.

“He’s the guy who worries about everyone else,” wrote a friend. “He brings a big cooler of beer and arak to every party, carries the extra equipment, helps people put up their tents even if they met five minutes earlier.”

The limited amount of information that Alex was able to share that morning showed that he was hiding in an olive orchard, before losing contact with his wife.

For more than a week he was considered missing, before the family was informed that Alex was taken hostage.

Alex was captured when Michael was in the fourth month of her pregnancy. The couple have another two-year-old son. The young family lives in Ashkelon, and Alex also cares for his parents, who both have physical disabilities.

The two met a decade ago when Alex was working as a chef at an Ashkelon restaurant where Michal was a waitress.

Alex Lubnov, head barman at Supernova, captured on October 7, 2023, when Hamas terrorists attacked the desert rave (Courtesy)

In December Michal told 103 FM Radio: “It only becomes harder as the days go by. I still can’t fully comprehend it. It still feels like he might arrive at any moment and say ‘I’m back.'”

She said the hostages who had returned in November had been unable to offer any information or sign of life from Alex “and that makes things even harder for us… Our anxiety can’t be put into words.”

Michal said every day was a struggle “to survive the day, in order to survive the next one and the next one, it’s like an endless loop, feelings of sadness and frustration and fear. It’s crushing.

“I keep going because I really believe the day will come when he returns and he needs me strong and fighting, strong for the kids. That’s what keeps me somehow sane.”

Of the 253 Israelis taken hostage during Hamas’s October 7 onslaught, 130 remain held in Gaza — though not all of them are alive.

Talks for the release of at least some of the remaining hostages and a weeks-long truce have seemingly stalled, with both Israel and Hamas indicating that many differences remain between them. Qatar and Egypt are serving as the main mediators in talks.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening expressed pessimism that Israel and Hamas could reach a deal, accusing the terror group of continuing to stonewall Israel rather than make a good faith effort at compromise.

Saying that Israel was continuing to prepare to expand its offensive into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, despite increasingly strident warnings from the international community against such a move, Netanyahu sought to temper expectations for a deal raised by US President Joe Biden earlier this week when he said a deal was “close.”

“We face a brick wall of delusional, unrealistic Hamas demands,” said Netanyahu in a press conference, adding that the terrorist group “knows its demands are delusional and is not even trying to move close to an area of agreement. That’s the situation.”

Israel and Hamas appear to be far from seeing eye-to-eye on the terms of the deal, which purportedly includes a six-week pause in fighting and the release of some 40 hostages in exchange for 400 Palestinian security prisoners held by Israel.

A key sticking point appears to be the terror group’s continued insistence that any truce should pave the way to the end of the war and an Israeli withdrawal. Israel has vowed not to stop the campaign until Hamas is defeated and removed from power in the Strip.

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