ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

search
Day 6 of hostage releasesYarden Roman-Gat deduced family was alive from radio

In emotional scenes, freed hostages are reunited with families and pets

Siblings Maya and Itay Regev meet after being released separately from Gaza; 13-year-old Gali Tarshansky runs to her mom; Raaya Rotem joins daughter Hila at Sheba

  • The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)
    The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)
  • Raz Ben Ami is reunited with her three daughters at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, November 29, after being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas for 54 days. (Courtesy)
    Raz Ben Ami is reunited with her three daughters at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, November 29, after being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas for 54 days. (Courtesy)
  • Moran Stela Yanai, 40, greets her dog at Sheba Medical Center after being released on November 29, 2023 from Gaza where she was held by Hamas terrorists for 54 days. (Courtesy)
    Moran Stela Yanai, 40, greets her dog at Sheba Medical Center after being released on November 29, 2023 from Gaza where she was held by Hamas terrorists for 54 days. (Courtesy)
  • Released Gaza hostage Moran Stela Yanai, left, alongside an IDF officer at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
    Released Gaza hostage Moran Stela Yanai, left, alongside an IDF officer at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
  • The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)
    The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, with a third sibling at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)

Videos and photos released Thursday showed emotional reunions as hostages released from Gaza the previous night after 54 days in captivity met family and loved ones.

The 12 Israelis, who were released Wednesday as part of a temporary truce with Hamas, were being treated at Soroka Medical Center, Sheba Medical Center, Ichilov Medical Center and Schneider Children’s Hospital, while four released Thai citizens were at Shamir (Assaf Harofeh) Medical Center.

The freed hostages will undergo thorough medical and psychological evaluations and receive all necessary care from specially trained medical and psychosocial teams.

In Beersheba, Soroka Medical Center shared joyful photos of Itay Regev, 18, reuniting with his sister Maya Regev, 21, who was freed four days earlier.

The reunion of siblings Maya and Itay Regev, released from Gaza days apart, at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, November 30, 2023, in handout photos by the hospital. (Courtesy)

Itay was greeted with an emotional embrace from his mother Mirit at Hatzerim Airbase late Wednesday night. The siblings were kidnapped from the Supernova music festival on October 7, where hundreds were mowed down by terrorists.

Released Gaza hostage Itay Regev is embraced by his mother at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Separately, a video showed Gali Tarshansky, 13, the youngest hostage released on Wednesday, running to her mother Reuma Aroussi at Hatzerim and embracing her for long moments.

Tarshansky was grabbed as she and her father Ilya jumped out of their safe room window after terrorists set their home in Kibbutz Be’eri on fire. Her 15-year-old brother Lior Tarshansky was murdered, while her father survived.

Aroussi has been one of the public faces of the battle to return the hostages home.

Tarshansky was also photographed with her father as they flew by helicopter from Hatzerim to Schneider Wednesday night.

Gali Tarshansky, 13, is seen with her father as they travel from Hatzerim Airbase to Schneider Children’s Hospital in central Israel, early on November 30, 2023 (Courtesy)

Yarden Roman-Gat’s brother told Channel 12 Thursday that for the majority of the time she was held by Hamas in Gaza, she didn’t know if her daughter or husband were alive.

Roman-Gat, 36, was visiting the kibbutz for the holiday with her family. The three were taken and forced into a car heading toward Gaza, but seized an opportunity to jump out when the terrorists were distracted by a nearby IDF tank. Yarden handed Geffen to Alon as they split up, knowing he could run faster than she could. They ran and she was caught.

“For more than half the time she was [in Gaza], maybe an entire month, she was living in that fog of uncertainty,” Gili Roman said of his sister. Then, “she heard about it by chance when the radio was playing.

Yarden Roman-Gat, captured on October 7, 2023 and released on November 29, 2023. (Courtesy)

“She heard Gil [Dikman], Alon’s cousin, who dedicated a song to Kinneret, Geffen’s grandmother,” he explained. Kinneret Gat was killed in her home in Kibbutz Be’eri, and her daughter Carmel was taken hostage.

“He dedicated the song to Kinneret and mentioned that Carmel and Yarden were taken hostage. And from that, she understood that because he didn’t mention Alon or Geffen, it meant they were alive.

“It gave her so much strength and hope, that bit of light.”

Describing the reunion between the family on Wednesday night, Roman said that while the time spent in captivity wasn’t easy on his sister, “she’s still the same Yarden we knew.”

“Geffen told her she’d missed her to the end of the world and back again, and at 4 a.m., we met her at the hospital and she hugged Geffen, and in that moment she was a mother again. She was our sister again.”

Another family reunited late Wednesday when Raaya Rotem, 54, was released from Gaza and joined her daughter Hila Rotem, 13, at Sheba in Ramat Gan.

Hila was freed on November 25, without her mother, in what was viewed as a breach of the agreement between Israel and Hamas not to separate mothers and children in the releases.

Released Gaza hostage Raaya Rotem, right, alongside an IDF officer at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

According to Prof. Itai Pessach, director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba, the six women brought there Wednesday were suffering from various injuries, though none were life-threatening.

A number of women were hospitalized along with their children. All were in stable condition.

“We were privileged to accompany the reunions of many families on one hand, but we were also exposed to the complex and difficult stories of these people during their time of captivity,” Pessach says.

“Tonight we were especially moved by the reunion of Raaya and Hila Rotem. Hila has been with us since her release from captivity and we, along with the entire Israeli nation, were very much looking forward to this reunion,” he added.

Also at Sheba, Moran Stela Yanai reunited with her family and her dog after her release.

Yanai, 40, was abducted from the Supernova music festival on October 7, where she was selling handmade jewelry.

Moran Stela Yanai, 40, embraces family members at Sheba Medical Center after being released from Gaza where she was held by Hamas terrorists for 54 days. (Courtesy)

Another woman released Wednesday, Raz Ben Ami, 57, reunited with her three daughters, Yuli, Ella and Natalie, at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov after 54 days in captivity. Ben Ami was taken from Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7 along with her husband, Ohad, also 57, who is still held hostage in Gaza. They both hold Israeli and German citizenship.

In a bittersweet reunion at Hatzerim, Liam Or, 18, embraced his father. Or was taken captive with his cousins Alma and Noam, who were freed on Saturday. Yonat Or — Alma and Noam’s mother, and Liam’s aunt — was murdered on October 7. Dror Or, Liam’s uncle and Alma and Noam’s father, is still believed to be held captive in Gaza.

Released Gaza hostage Liam Or is embraced by his father at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Meanwhile in Australia, the sister of Amit Shani, 16, who was also freed from captivity Wednesday evening, was beyond excited to hear the news of her brother’s release.

Shani, who lived on Kibbutz Be’eri, was the only member of his family taken hostage.

The captives were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement that has so far seen 97 civilians released from Hamas captivity in Gaza: 73 Israelis, 23 Thai nationals, and 1 Filipino.

Israel estimates that there are still 145 hostages — including 15 civilian women and children — being held in Gaza and insists the terror group release all remaining civilian women and children before additional agreements are considered.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.