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Girl, 3, among man’s 10 family members feared taken hostage by Hamas

todayOctober 14, 2023 7

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Girl, 3, among man’s 10 family members feared taken hostage by Hamas

A man who fears 10 members of his family have been taken hostage by Hamas said the Israeli military action is putting their lives at risk.

Yotam Kipnis is on a mission to try and track down his parents Eviatar Moshe Kipnis, 65, and Lilach Lea Havron, 60, as well as his cousins Naveh Shoham, 8, and three-year-old Yahel.

The children were on a holiday visiting their grandparents’ home in the Be’eri kibbutz in southern Israel when militants stormed the compound on Saturday morning.

Their homes were ransacked and burned, with their neighbours either killed or dragged away as hostages.

Six other members of the family are also unaccounted for – including Mr Kipnis’s aunt and uncle, as well as several other cousins.

Follow live: Israel launches first ground missions in Gaza

Yotam Kipnis, who fears 10 members of his family have been captured by Hamas.  Pictured Yahel Shoham

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Yahel Shoham, aged 3

Yotam Kipnis, who fears 10 members of his family have been captured by Hamas.

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Naveh Shoham, aged 8

Speaking to Sky News’ Mark Austin, Mr Kipnis said the wait for answers about the fate of his family is becoming “unbearable”.

“They’re really lovely children, Naveh is very, very smart. He just loves everyone in the family. From the moment I see him, he comes and runs and hugs me.”

As none of their bodies have been found, he now believes they are all being held captive at the hands of Hamas.

Mr Kipnis is working to raise the profile of his family in a bid to help find them by contacting others whose loved ones are also missing and making social media videos.

Read more:
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Yotam Kipnis, who fears 10 members of his family have been captured by Hamas.

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Yotam Kipnis

But he fears the ongoing Israeli military action, in which 1,900 Palestinians have been killed, will put his family in danger.

“People are starting to have ideas about wiping out Gaza and carpet-bombing the neighbourhoods while there are Israeli citizens being held there hostage. And I worry for my family and I worry for whoever else might be held there,” he said.

As the family has Italian citizenship, Mr Kipnis is visiting a string of European embassies around Israel to try and garner more support.

Nadav Kipnis, shows him, at right, sitting with his family, from left, his brother Yotam Kipnis, his father Eviatar Moshe Kipnis 65 and his mother Lilach Lea Havron 60.  (Kipnis Family via AP)

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Yotam Kipnis, left, with his father, mother, and brother Nadav. Pic: Kipnis Family via AP

An estimated 150 hostages were taken from southern Israel after gunmen launched an attack from Gaza over the weekend. The raids carried out by land, sea and air have killed about 1,300 Israelis.

Many of Mr Kipnis’s family’s mobile phones have been traced to Gaza, adding to concerns they have been taken to the besieged enclave.

Fears are especially high for Mr Kipnis’s father as he uses a wheelchair and takes regular medication, as well as needing hospital care.

The couple and their health care aide were last heard from at around 9am on Saturday, sheltering in their safe room after militants stormed their kibbutz, where at least 100 bodies were later found.

Written by: Newsroom

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