Ofir Engel, 18, was released on November 29 as part of a temporary ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. This is the story of his capture:
Ofir Engel turned 18 years old in Gaza, where he was taken hostage on October 7, when Hamas terrorists attacked Kibbutz Be’eri.
Engel, a dual Dutch-Israeli citizen from Jerusalem’s Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, was visiting his girlfriend Yuval and was in touch with his family from 6 a.m. when rocket barrages first signaled the start of a far more sinister onslaught.
He was in contact with his family until around 12:30 p.m., telling them that he was hiding with the Sharabi family in their sealed room.
That was the last the Engels heard from their son.
At 7 p.m., Nira Sharabi called the Engels to tell them that she and her daughters had survived, but that her husband Yossi Sharabi and their son Ofir had been taken hostage by the terrorists.
The Hamas gunmen had broken into the family’s safe room and taken everyone out. They told the women to sit on the grass and then shot the family dog.
At that point, they put Yossi Sharabi, Ofir Engel and another Be’eri teen, Amit Shani, into a small black car, and drove them into Gaza.