The Bibas family, including baby Kfir who is now 10 months old, was transferred by Hamas to another Palestinian terror group in Gaza, the military said Monday, dampening hopes of their release during the current truce.
Kfir was kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz along with his 4-year-old brother Ariel and parents Yarden, 34, and Shiri, 32, when terrorists rampaged through southern communities on October 7, murdering at least 1,200 people, mostly civilians in their homes and at a music festival, and abducting some 240.
On X, IDF Arabic-language spokesman Avichai Adraee said the family had been subsequently transferred to another Palestinian terror faction in Gaza and is currently being held in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. It was unclear exactly when the transfer occurred or which faction was holding them.
“Children and babies under the age of one who have not seen the light of day for more than fifty days are being held captive by Hamas, [who] treats some of them like loot and in some places has transferred them to other terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip,” Adraee wrote.
The transfer to another group could reduce the likelihood the family will be released under the terms of the ceasefire’s two-day extension, which is supposed to see another 20 Israeli hostages freed in exchange for 60 Palestinian inmates.
Most of the October 7 hostages were taken by Hamas, and most of those released have been released by Hamas, the terror group that rules the Strip. However, Hanna Katzir and Yagil Yaakov, who were held by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, have been freed as part of the temporary truce deal agreed to by Israel and Hamas.
#عاجل في سجن حماس يتم احتجاز أطفال رضع يبلغون من العمر أقل من سنة واحدة والذين لم يبصروا الضوء منذ اكثر من 50 يومًا. حماس تتصرف بهم وكأنهم غنيمة وفي بعض الأحيان تسلّمهم إلى منظمات إرهابية أخرى موجودة في قطاع غزة.
على سبيل المثال عائلة بيباس الطفلان ذو الشعر الأحمر "الحمر"… pic.twitter.com/zzYBwGUJZi
— افيخاي ادرعي (@AvichayAdraee) November 27, 2023
“We are currently experiencing moments of great uncertainty,” relatives of the Bibas family said in a statement in response to the announcement.
“The realization that we will not receive the hug we longed for so much now leaves us speechless. We are happy for the families united with their loved ones. We won’t stop the fight for the return of our loved ones to Israel. Thank you all for the support,” they wrote.
The family has become one of the most recognizable hostages, with baby Kfir as the youngest among the captives, demonstrating the extent of Hamas’s cruelty.
On the day of their capture, a video circulated of Shiri, holding her children in her arms, a look of terror on her face as she was surrounded by terrorists, her boys facing her chest, a blanket covering them.
There was also a video of Yarden, injured with blood on his head, surrounded by terrorists.
Eleven Israeli children and mothers were released from Hamas captivity Monday night, as intense diplomatic efforts resulted in the extension of the ceasefire, which began Friday, for two more days.
That group was originally slated to be the last of four scheduled groups of hostages freed as part of a deal for the release of 50 Israeli women and children kidnapped by the Hamas terror group on October 7.
Israel agreed to free 150 Palestinians serving time in Israeli prison for security offenses as part of the initial truce and released 33 women and young men to the West Bank and East Jerusalem on Monday night.
These are the nine Israeli children and teens who remain hostage in Gaza after the fourth day of the truce.