ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 138

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Three members of Engel family released; father Ronen’s body still in Gaza

Karina, 51, Mika, 18, and Yuval, 11, home after 52 days in Gaza; their Oct. 7 capture from Nir Oz was documented by a smiling Hamas terrorist on Facebook

  • Karina Engel-Bart (left) and daughters Mika (center) and Yuval Engel were taken captive on October 7, 2023 by Hamas terrorists from Kibbutz Nir Oz. They were released on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)
    Karina Engel-Bart (left) and daughters Mika (center) and Yuval Engel were taken captive on October 7, 2023 by Hamas terrorists from Kibbutz Nir Oz. They were released on November 27, 2023. (Courtesy)
  • Ronen Engel (right) with his wife Karina and daughters Mika and Yuval. (Courtesy)
    Ronen Engel (right) with his wife Karina and daughters Mika and Yuval. (Courtesy)

Karina, 51, Mika, 18, and Yuval, 11, Engel were released on November 27 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. On December 1, the IDF confirmed the death of father Ronen, 54. His body is still in Gaza. This is the story of their capture:

Four members of the Engel family, father Ronen, 54, mother Karina, 51, daughter Mika, 18, and daughter Yuval, 11, have been missing since 8 a.m. on the morning of October 7, when Hamas terrorists swarmed Kibbutz Nir Oz, killing, kidnapping and burning homes.

In the family’s last messages, they said they were hiding in their sealed room, aware of what was taking place on the grounds of the kibbutz.

Karina Engel-Bart was on the phone with her sister Paula when she suddenly said, “Paula, they’re here, they’re here.”

The call was cut short and all communication was lost.

The IDF confirmed the death of Ronen Engel on December 1, 2023. His body is still held hostage in Gaza. His family was freed on November 27, 2023. (courtesy)

Around midday, Ronen’s brother Dani was looking at his brother’s Facebook page, when he saw a new story posted: A video of a Hamas terrorist, smiling into the camera, saying something in Arabic.

“I know my brother. If Ronen is a captive, he’ll find the strength to get through it,” said Dani Engel, describing his brother as “terribly optimistic.”

The family’s phones were traced and located in Gaza and family members were told there were no signs of violence in the house, that it wasn’t burned and their dog was alive.

Karina Engel-Bart, a recent cancer survivor, holds Argentine citizenship, and the family has been trying to get assistance from the Argentine Embassy in Israel and through South American media.

Karina, Mika and Yuval were released on November 27, 2023. The IDF confirmed Ronen’s death on December 1, 2023. His body is still held in Gaza.

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