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Taken captive: David Cunio, abducted from burning house

Wife and daughters, also taken hostage on October 7 from Nir Oz, were released on November 27

David Cunio was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)
David Cunio was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

David Cunio, 34, was taken hostage on October 7 from his home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, as Hamas terrorists attacked the community, burning homes, killing residents and kidnapping people.

David was abducted along with his wife, Sharon Aloni Cunio, 33, their 3-year-old  twin daughters, Yuli and Emma, and Sharon’s sister, Danielle Aloni, 44, and daughter Emilia, 5, who were visiting them for the holiday weekend.

Sharon and the twins were released on November 27 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. Her sister Danielle and daughter Emilia were released on November 24.

Twins Yuli and Emma Cunio, 3, seen being released, in propaganda footage issued by the Hamas terror group that abducted them, on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)

David Cunio and his three brothers were born and raised at Kibbutz Nir Oz. Another brother, Ariel Cunio, was also taken hostage on October 7 with his girlfriend, Arbel Yehud, and Arbel’s brother, Dolev Yehud.

On that morning, the rest of the family, Sharon and Danielle’s sister and parents, began messaging them when missile alerts began in various parts of the country.

At first, Sharon said they didn’t know much, just that they were safe in the sealed room, and had been told there were terrorists in the kibbutz, not a first-time occurrence.

An hour later, Sharon wrote that they could hear terrorists in her neighbor’s house. Half an hour later, she texted that the terrorists were in her house and she wasn’t sure they were going to make it.
Another hour and a half later, Sharon sent a voice message that the terrorists had set the house on fire, and smoke was getting under the door of the sealed room. The last message was at 11:20 a.m.

Hours later, the sisters’ family members were able to get in touch with David’s extended family, those who live on Nir Oz and survived. They had already checked Sharon and David’s house and hadn’t found anyone.

Later that day, a TikTok video circulated that appeared to show David, Sharon and one of the twins on the back of a pickup truck with Hamas terrorists.

Sharon Aloni Cunio, 34, her husband David Cunio, 34, and their twin daughters, Yuli and Emma, 3, were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, 2023. Sharon, Yuli and Emma were released on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)

Six days later, the Aloni family was informed that all six were officially recognized as kidnapped by Hamas and in Gaza.

David and Sharon Cunio met ten years ago when David and his twin brother, Eitan Cunio, were hired to act in Tom Shoval’s 2013 feature film “Youth” in 2013.

It was the first acting experience for both brothers, and Sharon Aloni was handling press relations for the film. While making the film, she and David fell in love.

Eitan and David Cunio, stars of Tom Shoval’s ‘Youth’ (courtesy: Match Factory)

Sharon and David Cunio settled on Nir Oz, as did Eitan Cunio and his wife, Stav, and two other brothers. The Cunio’s parents and grandmother, of Argentinian origin, also live on Nir Oz and survived the Hamas attack.

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