For Yoni Asherall notion of time stopped October 7 when his wife and two daughters were taken hostage by Hamas during his Surprise attack against Israel.
“I don’t work, I don’t sleep. As the minimum to survive“he told a group of journalists.
Israel says at least 242 hostages were taken by Hamas militants who broke into the Gaza Strip a month ago and they killed 1,400 peoplemostly civilians, in the deadliest attack ever perpetrated on the nation.
He Israeli army responded with a withering air, land and naval attack against the Palestinian territory which, according to the Ministry of Health run by Hamas terrorists, has killed almost 9,500 people, also mostly civilians.
That fateful day, Asher had decided to stay home alone in Tel Aviv while his wife Doron and daughters Raz and Aviv visited his mother-in-law, Efrat, at the kibbutz Nir Oz.
The community near the Gaza border, which is home to some 400 residentswas seriously affected by the Hamas attack.
More of 20 people died and at least 75 were taken hostage in Nir Oz, a kibbutz spokesman said this week.
After news of the attack broke, Asher watched a video in which he saw his family being taken away by militants in the back of a van.
Efrat was seen alive in the video, but shortly after the Israeli Army announced her death.
Still, he clings to this as the final proof of life for his wife and children, who have dual German-Israeli nationality.
“We want peace”
As of October 7, Asher left his job as real estate businessman to dedicate all his time to recovering his family.
During a meeting organized by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum in Tel Aviv, said he has conceded “about 300 interviews” to the press.
“For me today’s date is still October 7“, he claimed.
“The time has stopped”.
The release of the hostages has become a major war objective and the main concern of the country’s population, even as the Army has maintained its relentless bombardment against terrorists in northern Gaza.
Hamas has repeatedly said that Israeli attacks on the territory have killed hostages, but these claims are impossible to verify.
“As parents, we are already afraid when a child jumps on his bed, so let’s imagine our fear now with bombings everywhere.Asher said.
“We want peace, we do not want any civilian population to suffer”.
Adva Adar’s voice shook as she spoke about her 85-year-old grandmother Yafa, who is also believed to be detained in Gaza.
“Every minute for her is a nightmare“said Adar, worried that her grandmother would not receive the medical attention suitable for your heart and kidney problems, your high blood pressure and your chronic pain.
“Reality catches up with us”
Yafa, also a resident of Nir Ozwas seen alive on video, unlike Adar’s cousin Tamir, who disappeared without a trace since the Hamas attack.
Like the rest of his family, Adar is trying to stay positive and has returned to Israel from a visit to Paris to defend the hostages.
“But sometimes reality catches up with us“said the social worker.
After “a month without medication, it could mean that he didn’t survive, that he died there.”
Ella Ben Amin says she now takes “a lot of pills” to sleep and has been in therapy twice a week since her parents were kidnapped from the Kibbutz in Beeri.
According to the NGO Zakawho helped collect the bodies after the attackmore than 100 Beeri residents died on October 7.
Like the other family members, Ben Amin said she remains “focused on bringing back” the hostages and continues to give media interviews to raise awareness about their cause.
His mother, Raz, needs treatment to brain tumors and spinal cords and has mobility problems, he said.
The survivors of the kibbutz have been housed in a hotel on the Dead Sea, Ben Amin said.
Every day they meet to “sing together,” exchange information and share their pain.
There they are informed “who has been found dead, because numerous bodies have not yet been identified,” he stated.