Meirav Tal, 54, was released on November 28 as part of a temporary cease-fire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel. The death of her partner Yair Yaakov, 59, was announced on February 25, 2024 and his body is still captive in Gaza. This is the story of their capture:
Meirav Tal, 54, and the body of her longtime partner Yair Yaakov, 59, were taken captive from their Kibbutz Nir Oz home, as Hamas terrorists assaulted the community, killing residents and abducting 70 people to Gaza.
Yair’s brother, Yaniv, was in touch during the early morning missile attacks on October 7, as he checked in to see if his brother and girlfriend were okay.
Yair told Yaniv that he and Meirav were in their shelter. His sons, Or and Yagil, 16 and 12, weren’t with him. The two boys were at their mother’s house, also in Nir Oz and were taken captive. The boys were freed on November 27, 2023, as part of a temporary cease-fire deal brokered by Qatar and the United States between Hamas and Israel.
Yair couldn’t bring his sons to his house, as the kibbutz members were under strict instructions to stay in their home shelters.
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, in order 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, in order to abduct his body and his partner Meirav and take them to Gaza.