Those we are missing

Dror Kaplun, 68, death confirmed 2 months after Oct. 7 murder

Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists helped close circle for grieving family, which also lost Kaplun’s wife

Kibbutz Be'eri resident Dror Kaplun, 68, was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)
Kibbutz Be'eri resident Dror Kaplun, 68, was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

The death of Dror Kaplun, 68, was confirmed on December 7, 2023. He was murdered by Hamas on the massacre of October 7, with his wife, Dr. Marcelle Frailich Kaplun at Kibbutz Be’eri. Initially thought held hostage, this is how his family pieced together the terrorists’ onslaught and aftermath: 

Dror Kaplun, 68, is presumed captive in Gaza, abducted by Hamas terrorists on October 7 from Kibbutz Be’eri, where he lived for the last 20 years with his wife, Dr. Marcelle Frailich Kaplun, who was murdered there.

Kaplun’s three adult children from his first marriage, believe their father may have been killed as well.

The couple, who married 20 years ago in a second round for both, lived in Be’eri where Frailich Kaplun lived for 40 years of her life.

He was in touch with his children on the morning of October 7, leaving them Whatsapp messages about the attack on the kibbutz, the sounds of gunfire and shouting in Arabic.

“He told us that they’d invaded, that they were nearby and that he and Marcelle were in the safe room,” said his daughter, Moran Kaplun.

“We know what happens in the south, but we never imagined something like this could happen,” said Maayan Kedar Kaplun, another daughter.

A few hours later, they saw a Hamas video, showing Marcelle and Dror in their pajamas, their feet bare and hands tied, being pushed along a Be’eri street by terrorists.

And then there was another video, showing Marcelle and Dror laying on the sidewalk with several others, not moving. Several days later, they were informed that all those in the photo were dead, including Marcelle, but not Dror. Days later, Dror’s phone was located in Gaza.

“There isn’t a lot of blood around him, so it’s possible that he wasn’t killed,” said Kedar Kaplun.

Kaplun’s children were eventually allowed to return to Be’eri, to their father and Marcelle’s destroyed home, accompanied by a Kan 11 crew and Guy Lenman, Moran Kaplun’s husband, who has worked in forensic science.

Using the video footage, Lenman found the spot where Marcelle and Dror had been seen on the ground, and found evidence of dried blood and fragments that could possibly help reveal what happened that day. He was in touch with the police, urging them to come back and see what they could find, but hasn’t received a firm response yet.

For now, Kaplun’s children are waiting for more information, hoping their father is alive and held hostage in Gaza.

Kaplun is the son of Holocaust survivors and was born in Israel. He has spent his entire life in the Gaza envelope, living in Kibbutz Ruhama before moving to Be’eri, to Marcelle’s home.

His children say he’s been waiting eagerly for retirement, to spend his time traveling and being a wonderful grandfather to his five grandchildren who love being with him.

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