Ofelia Roitman was released on November 28 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. This is the story of her capture:
Ofelia Roitman, 77, had been missing since the morning of October 7, when Hamas terrorists launched an assault on Kibbutz Nir Oz. Roitman has lived at Nir Oz for the last 38 years since she emigrated from Argentina.
Roitman was in touch with her family in those early morning hours, telling them what was unfolding at the kibbutz, as gunmen swarmed through the homes and community, killing, assaulting and kidnapping dozens of people.
By 9:37 a.m., the family received their last text message from Roitman: “Please send help, the Palestinians are here,” she wrote.
Hours later, Israeli soldiers checked Roitman’s house and saw no signs of her body or of a struggle.
Her daughter, Natalie Madmon, said in a video that they have a feeling she left the house alive, although they’ve had no signs from Gaza either, no photos or videos posted by Hamas.
Eventually, Israeli officials notified the family she was taken hostage to Gaza.
The mother of three and grandmother of nine was a lifelong educator, who immigrated to Israel from Argentina and has lived in Nir Oz since then, aside from spending five years as principal of a Jewish school in Argentina.
“I want my mother back,” said her daughter, Natalie Madmon.