ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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Brothers Yagil, 12 & Or Yaakov, 16, from Nir Oz, freed; father Yair murdered Oct. 7

Siblings, home alone on Oct. 7, tried to hold the kibbutz home’s sealed room door shut, but were overcome by Hamas gunmen

  • Yigal Yaakov, 12, taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, freed on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)
    Yigal Yaakov, 12, taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, freed on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)
  • Or Yaakov, 16, was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz. He was freed on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)
    Or Yaakov, 16, was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz. He was freed on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)

Yagil, 12, and Or Yaakov, 16, were released on November 27 as part of a temporary cease-fire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. Their father Yair was murdered on October 7 and his body is still held in Gaza. Their father’s partner Meirav was captured and freed on November 28. This is the story of their capture:

Yagil, 12, and Or Yaakov, 16, were sleeping, alone in their Kibbutz Nir Oz house, when Hamas terrorists attacked on the morning of October 7.

The two brothers called their mother, Renana Gome, whispering from the sealed room where they were hiding.

They were scared to death, said their mother, from the account she shares in a short created by “Waltz with Bashir” animator Yoni Goodman, about their harrowing experience on that Black Shabbat.

Older brother Or tried to hold the door shut, but the terrorists overcame him.

The last thing Gome heard was her younger son, Yagil, saying, “Don’t take me, I’m too young.”

Gome was then called by her sons’ abductors, who told her they had her sons.

The two boys are among the 70 people abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz.

“I hope they’re together, keeping each other strong, and hope they’re with other children,” said Gome, who was at another kibbutz that was attacked, with her daughter, Shir, and both survived.

Yagil Yaakov appeared in a propaganda video posted on November 9 by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group.

The boys’ father, Yair (Yaya) Yaakov, 59, and his girlfriend, Meirav Tal, 54, were also taken captive on October 7 from their neighboring Kibbutz Nir Oz home.

On February 15, 2024, Kibbutz Nir Oz announced that father Yair was murdered on October 7 and his body was taken to Gaza, where it remains.

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