Yair Yaakov, murdered during Hamas attack on his home

Partner and sons were released during the temporary ceasefire in late November

Yair Yaakov was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)
Yair Yaakov was taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)

The death of Yair Yaakov, 59, was confirmed on February 15, 2024. According to the announcement from Kibbutz Nir Oz, Yaakov was murdered on October 7 and his body is held in Gaza. This is what we know of the events that befell Yaakov and his family on October 7: 

Yair Yaakov, 59, and his partner, Meirav Tal, 54, were taken captive from Yair’s home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, as Hamas terrorists assaulted the community, killing residents and abducting 70 people to Gaza.

Meirav Tal was released on November 28 as part of a temporary cease-fire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel.

Yair Yaakov’s sons, Or and Yagil, 16 and 12, were also taken captive from their mother’s nearby Nir Oz home and were freed on November 27 as part of the temporary cease-fire deal.

The body of Yair Yaakov, known by all as “Yaya,” is still held in Gaza.

“We’re happy that Meirav and the kids were released,” said Yair’s brother, Yaniv Yaakov, before his murder on October 7 was announced. “But we’re worried because Yair is still there, our hearts are not complete, our family is not complete.”

Meirav Tal embraces her partner, Yair Yaakov’s boys, Or and Yagil Yaakov, also released from captivity, at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital after she was released as a hostage by the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group, November 28, 2023. (Courtesy)

Yair’s family was told that he was injured in the Hamas attack in his house on October 7 and that the terrorists used brutal force against him.

“No one has any information from Yair,” said Yaniv Yaakov. “We hope that he’s still okay and that his injuries were taken care of.”

The two brothers were in touch during the early morning missile attacks on October 7, as Yaniv Yaakov checked in to see if his brother and girlfriend were okay.

Yair told Yaniv that he and Meirav were in their shelter. He couldn’t bring his sons to his house, as the kibbutz members were under strict instructions to stay in their home shelters.

Meirav Tal (left) and Yair Yaakov, abducted on October 7, 2023 from their Kibbutz Nir Oz home. Tal was freed on November 28, 2023. (Courtesy)

At 9:20 a.m., Meirav sent a voice message to Yaniv that terrorists had entered their home. Yair was trying to hold the safe room door shut to fend off the attackers. That was the last time they communicated.

By Sunday evening, the family found a video taken by Hamas, showing that the terrorists used grenades to open the door of Yair’s sealed room to abduct him and Meirav and take them to Gaza.

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