Gelienor “Jimmy” Leano Pacheco was released on November 24 as part of an agreement that Egypt said it negotiated with Hamas, reportedly also with the involvement of Qatar and Iran, in which 10 Thai and one Filipino hostages were freed. This is the story of his capture:
Gelienor “Jimmy” Leano Pacheco, 33, a Filipino caregiver and father of three, was taken hostage to Gaza by Hamas terrorists who attacked Kibbutz Nir Oz, where he lived, caring for Amitai Ben Zvi, 80.
Nir Oz, a community of about 400 people situated three kilometers from the Gaza border, lost almost half of its population during Hamas’s shock attack. Over 100 residents and some 15 foreign agricultural workers were killed during the onslaught, and about 80 more were taken captive, according to a military spokesperson.
On that Saturday morning, Jimmy managed to call and tell his friends that he was being kidnapped and Amitai, or Abba, as he called him, had been killed.
Hours later, Amitai Ben Zvi’s family received a video from Jimmy’s family in the Philippines, showing Jimmy handcuffed in a car in Gaza.
Another Hamas video of Jimmy also surfaced on Telegram in which he is surrounded by a shouting crowd.
His wife, Clarice Joy Ponce Pacheco, identified him in the video.
Jimmy had been working in Israel for five years, caring for Amitai Ben Zvi for the last four years, serving his employer with “quiet, admirable devotion, always attentive to his needs and supportive in countless ways,” wrote Ben Zvi’s daughter.
Clarice Pacheco wrote on Facebook that her husband “is an ordinary Filipino caregiver working in Israel and a father of our three kids that wanting only to give his family a better life. He is still missing and I am already desperate because I don’t have any update about him until now.”