Amit Shani was released on November 29 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. This is the story of his capture:
Amit Shani, who turned 16 in captivity, was the only member of his family taken hostage by Hamas terrorists on October 7, as they waged war on Kibbutz Be’eri, killing residents, burning houses and abducting many.
Amit’s mother, Tal, 47, had three of her four kids home that morning when rockets began falling and terrorists entered the kibbutz.
She gathered her two younger daughters, ages 12 and 9, into Amit’s bedroom, the designated safe room in the house.
As she texted her ex-husband, who also lives on the kibbutz, he told her that his house was burning.
He asked her to send help, while other friends were texting equally desperate messages, seeking help as terrorists went house to house, “killing, kidnapping, burning it down,” Tal Shani told The Seattle Times.
Around noon, about half a dozen Hamas gunmen entered the Shanis’ house and broke the door of the safe room. The house filled with smoke as terrorists ordered the Shanis to leave the safe room and marched them down a road within the kibbutz.
Amit and his neighbor, Yossi Sharabi, along with Sharabi’s daughter’s visiting boyfriend, Ofir Engel, were all ordered into a small, black car.
Mother Tal Shani said she cried and begged, asking the terrorists to leave Amit and take her. A kidnapper raised his gun but spared her. Her ex-husband, Nir Shani, also survived.
Amit, a passionate runner and surfer, was later classified as kidnapped.
The family was evacuated to a Dead Sea hotel.