Yarden Roman-Gat, 35 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 her capture:
On Saturday, October 7, Yarden Roman-Gat, 35, her husband, Alon Gat and their three-year-old daughter Geffen were forced into a car from Kibbutz Be’eri with four Hamas terrorists, with another kibbutznik stuffed in the trunk, when they caught sight of an IDF tank as they neared the border with Gaza.
“They took the chance, jumped out and ran,” said Roni Roman, Yarden’s sister.
As they ran, Yarden handed Geffen to Alon, knowing he could run faster than she could. The terrorists ran after them, firing their guns as well.
According to an account written by Yarden’s uncle, Yadin Roman, in Eretz Magazine, Yarden took off in a different direction and took refuge from the bullets behind a tree, directing the fire and the terrorists toward her.
Alon, with Geffen, found a niche in the ground and hid there under branches and bushes for 12 hours, with terrorists all around searching for them.
The following day, Alon, holding Geffen, made his way back toward Be’eri, where fighting between the terrorists and the army was still going on. Eventually, they safely reached IDF forces.
Yarden’s brother, Gili, went to the area where Yarden had last been seen and scoured it for four days with volunteers from the armed forces, including Bedouin trackers. No trace of Yarden was found and all evidence pointed to her having been retaken by her captors to Gaza.
The young family had just returned to Israel from a vacation abroad on October 6, and went to visit Alon’s family in Be’eri for the Simchat Torah holiday.
Yarden and Alon had lived in Be’eri, but moved house a month earlier, as Yarden couldn’t take the pressure of missile attacks any longer.
Yarden, a dual national of Germany and Israel, has also been an avid rock climber from an early age, according to her uncle, and is well known in the small community of Israeli rock-climbing adventurers, who gathered together for a rock climbing rally during Yarden’s captivity.