Ohad Yahalomi, 49, is presumed taken captive by Hamas terrorists from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, after he engaged in a gun battle with gunmen in his house and was shot in the leg.
Ohad had decided to sit outside the sealed room door with a handgun, as the door handle of the room wasn’t locking properly.
After he was shot, the gunmen hurried wife Batsheva Yahalomi and their three children out of the house and onto mopeds, along with a foreign worker from the kibbutz.
Ohad told his family that he loved them, and to go with the terrorists.
Batsheva, 10-year-old Yael and the almost two-year-old toddler sat on one moped with a terrorist, while 12-year-old Eitan and the foreign worker sat on the other moped with another gunman.
As the terrorists headed toward Gaza, they saw two IDF tanks appear up ahead and the two mopeds veered away from one another. Batsheva lost track of Eitan on the other moped.
At some point, Batsheva and her two daughters were able to run, in their pajamas and flip-flops, for more than three hours. Batsheva eventually made it back toward the northern end of the kibbutz, which was less damaged than the other section.
“We were sure that Ohad would be there, but he wasn’t,” she said.
Eitan Yahalomi, 12, was released on November 27 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. Ohad remains presumed captive in Gaza and his family does not know if he is alive or dead.
“It’s the kind of injuries that you survive,” said his sister, Ayala Yahalomi, in a Kan interview. “He’s a very strong person.”
His mother, Esther Yahalomi, told Kan that she’s ready to take a tank and go get her son herself.
When Eitan was released on November 27, he thought his father was dead and that his mother and sisters were captives in Gaza.
“The kibbutzim, we went through a pogrom,” said Batsheva. “We dreamed of peace with Gaza and there were entire families, babies killed.”