ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Gabriela and Mia Leimberg, Clara Marman released; 2 family members still captive

Members of extended family were captured from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak safe room; Norberto Louis Har and Fernando Marman still in Gaza

Clockwise from left: Clara Marman, Gabriela Leimberg and Mia Leimberg, captured by Hamas from from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7, 2023, were released on November 28, 2023. (Courtesy)
Clockwise from left: Clara Marman, Gabriela Leimberg and Mia Leimberg, captured by Hamas from from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak on October 7, 2023, were released on November 28, 2023. (Courtesy)

Mother Gabriela and daughter Mia Leimberg, and sister Clara Marman were released on November 28 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. Partner Norberto Louis Har and brother Fernando Marman are still captive in Gaza. This is the story of their capture:

An extended family of five from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak near the Gaza border was captured by Hamas during the terror group’s bloody October 7 onslaught launched from the Gaza Strip.

Clara Marman, 62, and her partner Norberto Louis Har, 70, were hiding in their home’s sealed room together with Marman’s siblings Fernando Marman, 60, and Gabriela Leimberg, 59, along with Gabriela’s daughter, Mia Leimberg, 17, trying to keep the heavy door jammed shut with a chair.

Har was in touch with his daughter by text message that morning, updating her on the situation, telling her how the terrorists were going house to house.

“They’re in,” he wrote. “There’s noise in the house, hoping for the best, kisses.”

“Where’s the army?” asked his daughter.

After Har’s last message at 11:04, she frantically continued to write, but without any response.

Five members of an extended family, Clara Marman, her partner Louis Har, and her siblings, Fernando Marman, Gabriela Leimberg and Gabriela’s daughter, Mia Leimberg, were presumed captive since Saturday, October 7. Clara Marman, Gabriela and Mia Leimberg were released on November 28, 2023. (Courtesy)

The group of five tried to jam the sealed room door shut with a chair, said Maayan Sigal-Koren, Marman’s daughter, in a recorded video prepared by the Bring Them Back organization.

Marman has a very strong connection to her siblings, said Sigal-Koren, “they’re very close.”

The siblings all immigrated to Israel from Argentina.

“She’s the warmest woman in the world,” she said, adding that her mother was a kindergarten teacher for 30 years and took care of all the children on the kibbutz.

Clara’s sister, Gabriela Leimberg, is the director of Eyal’s Farm, an ecological ranch for autistic adults at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem, where she’s revered for her dedicated, professional work.

She and her daughter, Mia, 17, a 12th grade student, were visiting their family on the kibbutz for the holiday weekend. Gabriela’s husband, Moshe Leimberg, was back home, in their Talpiot, Jerusalem neighborhood.

Mia is known by her friends as a funny, energetic friend with a great talent for singing, and “a huge heart,” said her friend Eitan in several interviews.

There’s a big banner in front of Mia’s school, the Jerusalem High School of the Arts, that says “We’re waiting for you, Mia, to return.”

During his wife and daughter’s captivity, Moshe Leimberg reported that Gabriela and Mia took the family dog, Bella, with them for that weekend. Leimberg initially thought that Bella had survived the October 7 attacks but was mistakenly picked up for adoption. He had been trying to get their dog home again. Upon Mia’s release, she was photographed with Bella, who apparently was also held hostage in Gaza.

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