Nadav Popplewell, 51, was taken captive with his mother, Channah Peri, 79, on October 7 from their home in Kibbutz Nirim by Hamas terrorists who stormed the community.
Channah Peri was released on November 24 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. Nadav is still held hostage.
Channah and Nadav were together throughout the length of her captivity, held in a tunnel under Gaza.
On that Shabbat morning, October 7, writer Ayelet Svatitzky called her 79-year-old mother, Channah, to warn her that terrorists had infiltrated Kibbutz Nirim, where she grew up and her mother still lives.
Peri rushed to her safe room but quickly realized the door couldn’t be locked, according to several media accounts.
Ayelet heard a man’s voice in the background, speaking English with an Arabic accent. She hung up and called her brother Nadav, whose house is near their mother’s home, to warn him.
As she warned him to lock his doors and hide, she heard Arabic-speaking voices in the background.
The next communication Ayelet had with her family was a photo sent from her mother’s phone, showing South African veteran immigrant Channah Peri in her pajamas, standing alongside Nadav in her living room. The text message read, “Hamas.”
A third picture was later posted on Channah Peri’s Facebook page, showing her with Nadav and an armed Hamas gunman in the corner.
Nadav and Ayelet’s older brother, and Channah’s eldest son, Roi Popplewell, 54, was shot and killed behind his Nirim home on that black Shabbat morning.
One of the first things Channah did after her release from Hamas captivity was to visit her son, Roi’s, grave.
Roi Popplewell, 54, was buried while Peri was a hostage in Gaza. She didn’t know what happened to him on October 7, and only heard the news of his murder once she was released from captivity.
Ayelet and her brothers are all British citizens. The family originally came from Wakefield, West Yorkshire.