Israeli hostage Yarden Roman Gat, now reunited with her husband and daughter after 54 days in Gaza, spent the day after her release hoping her sister-in-law Carmel would be next to return home.
But Carmel did not release him. Although more than 100She was transferred to Gaza during a deadly Hamas operation After their release, about 130 remained in Hamas hands. Yarden Roman Gat and her husband, Alon, are still fighting for Carmel’s return.
“I want Carmel back,” Alon Jat said. “I’m afraid it will break, if it lasts too long.”
What happened to the family on October 7?
The couple was inNear the Gaza border, he was visiting Alon’s parents when Hamas stormed, they said. Alon’s mother was dragged outside and shot dead. His sister Carmel disappeared.
The fighters pushed Alon, Yarden, and their 3-year-old daughter, Given, into a car and then took off. When an Israeli tank passed, the kidnappers came out and hid in some trees, leaving Alon, Yarden and Given behind with an unarmed driver.
The parents seized the moment and drove off. Yarden had Giffen, but she’s not a good runner, so she moved their daughter to Alon.
“He’s a very good runner,” she said. “I just passed her by. It was a no-brainer. It was her best chance.”
Alon ran with their daughter, and heard gunfire as he ran for safety.
He added, “We hear bullets whistling next to us.”
He found a trench and hid with Giffen, wondering if he should go out and look for his wife.
“I thought about all these things,” he said. “No,” I said. “I have one task now. “And it’s saving Geffen.”
The pair were in the ditch from about 11:30 a.m. until about 8 p.m
Yarden is arrested
As her husband and daughter hid, Yarden fell to the ground, too exhausted to continue running, as her kidnappers approached. She tried to play dead, but it was quickly discovered.
“They grabbed my arm and started pulling me on the ground toward the car and back into it,” she said.
Yarden, who was wearing her pajamas, said her clothes were ripped from her body as she was dragged.
“It was one of the scariest moments because my thoughts were: Even if they didn’t have this intention, they might have it now, and I’m half naked,” she said.
Like other hostages, she was taken to Gaza amid large crowds of celebrating people.
She said: “The kidnappers could not control themselves, and they offered me a cup.”
54 days in captivity
Many hostages were taken into dark tunnels, but Yarden was never underground. She was detained in a house. The 36-year-old physical therapist said men guarded her 24/7.
She said: “I was being watched and visible at all times. I did not hide, not for a single moment.” “They can do anything to me.”
There are some details about her time in captivity that Yarden didn’t want to share. The mother said that while she was being held hostage, she tried to get her guards to care about her.
“They didn’t want to protect me. They wanted to protect their trophy,” she said. “But I think I was able to make them care, I don’t know, on some level. And I think that helped me survive.”
Sometimes Yarden would hear the news on the radio. About three weeks after her capture, she happened to see one of Alon’s cousins speaking. The cousin mentioned that Yarden and Carmel were in custody, but did not mention Alon or Giffen, so Yarden assumed her husband and daughter were okay.
Although she felt comfortable with Alon and Given, she was tormented at the thought of Carmel by the almost constant turmoilSettlement of residential neighborhoods throughout the Gaza Strip.
“It is a very scary experience to be in a war zone,” she said. “You can’t ignore it. It’s too intense.”
Returning to her home in Israel
The Yarden and Carmel families launched a campaign for their release. They even traveled to Washington for help. In the end, all the pressure paid off; Late last month, Israel temporarily halted the bombing and Hamas agreed to release some hostages, most of them women and children, in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners. Under the terms of the deal, three Palestinian prisoners were to be released for every hostage freed.
Gilly Roman, Yarden’s brother, said the phone rings every night with news of who is on the release list.
“This was the twisted reality show we lived on,” Roman said.
Once inThe entire country was glued to the television, as every transmission was covered live. But for five agonizing days, neither Yarden nor Carmel were on the roster.
Then he cameRegarding the temporary ceasefire. After 54 days, Yarden’s kidnappers told her she would be returning home.
“They asked, ‘Why aren’t you happy?'” Yarden said. “They almost asked for it. Be happy, be really happy. You’ll go home.”
The family gathered around a television that night and watched Yarden’s crossing from Gaza and his transfer to Israel. Alun Giffen woke up around 2am
“We found my mom,” he remembers telling her. “We have found the mother and she will return.”
theOn December 1 without Carmel returning.
Alon is still fighting for his sister, and now his wife is by his side.
Yarden Siad said: “My sister-in-law Carmel and a group of other hostages are still in Gaza.” “This is wrong. We have to stop it. If we can do anything to help, we will.”
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