IDF reveals video from Oct. 7 of abducted Bibas mom and kids arriving in Khan Younis, says it fears for their fate

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Shiri, Ariel, and Kfir Bibas seen in a video in Khan Younis on October 7, after they were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz, in a video released by the IDF on February 19, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)
Shiri, Ariel, and Kfir Bibas seen in a video in Khan Younis on October 7, after they were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir Oz, in a video released by the IDF on February 19, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari in a press conference reveals that the military has discovered videos of the Bibas family in the Gaza Strip, hours after they were abducted by Hamas-led terrorists on October 7.

Hagari says, “From the information available to us, we are very concerned about the condition and safety of Shiri and the children and are making every effort to obtain more information about their fate.”

Hagari says the footage shows that Shiri, surrounded by gunmen, was forced to wrap herself in a cloth.

The clip from surveillance cameras in Khan Younis shows hostages Shiri Bibas and her son Ariel, with her baby Kfir assumed to be under the cloth and strapped to her body as he was seen in video taken during the kidnapping.

Hagari says the videos are from a military post belonging to the Mujahideen Brigades terror group. He says the clips were obtained by the IDF in Khan Younis in recent weeks and have been shown to relatives of the abducted family.

The fate of the Bibas family — including father Yarden, who was kidnapped separately — is unknown. Hamas has claimed that Shiri, Ariel and Kfir were killed but the IDF has said that the claim is unverified.

Answering questions, Hagari says that while the clips show that Shira and her two sons “reached Khan Younis alive,” other “scraps of information” obtained by the IDF mean that “we are very concerned for the fate of Shiri and the children.” If and when there is definitive information “one way or another,” he says, “we will first tell the family and then the public.”

Speaking in English, Hagari then says, “134 hostages are still being held in Hamas captivity in Gaza. The youngest hostage is Kfir Bibas, a baby stolen from his crib during the Hamas massacre of October 7 when he was only 9 months old.”

“Baby Kfir was brutally kidnapped together with his 4-year-old brother Ariel, his mother Shiri and father Yarden,” he says.

“The IDF has obtained new information about the Bibas family. The materials I’m sharing have been shown to the relatives of the Bibas family and are being shared with their consent. During our operation against Hamas in Khan Younis over the last few weeks our forces obtained new footage of Shiri Bibas with her children 4-year-old Ariel and 9-month-old Kfir, on the day they were kidnapped into Gaza on October 7,” Hagari continues.

“According to the footage and intelligence we gathered, after Shiri Bibas and her two children were kidnapped from their home on October 7 they were taken to eastern Khan Younis to the outpost belonging to the Kata’ib Mujahideen terror group. The footage shows the terrorists wrapping Shiri and her babies in a sheet, trying to hide them. You can see little Ariel’s ginger hair poking through the white cloth,” he says.

“They were forced into a car and taken somewhere else. From the information available to us, we are concerned for the well-being of Shiri, Ariel, and Kfir,” Hagari says.

“Seeing this young mother, clutching her babies, surrounded by a group of armed terrorists is horrifying and heart-wrenching, but it is also a call for action, that we must bring the hostages home, fast,” he says.

“Those who have the audacity to question our need to operate in Gaza, but don’t have the basic decency and humanity to demand that Hamas release our hostages first of all, they all should take a good look at this terrified mother, Shiri, clutching her babies,” Hagari adds in English. “Until Hamas releases our hostages, we will leave no stone unturned until our hostages are home.”

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