Hamas hostages: Stories of the people taken from Israel

Composite image showing people abducted by Hamas: Amiram Cooper, Guy Gilboa-Dalal and Tsachi Idan
Image caption,Amiram Cooper, Guy Gilboa-Dalal and Tsachi Idan are being held in Gaza

Israel says 132 people remain unaccounted for after they were abducted and taken to Gaza during the 7 October attacks by Hamas.

Of these, Israel says that 25 are believed to be dead. The latest name to be confirmed is 38-year-old Tamir Adar, who was previously thought to have been taken hostage. It has now been announced that he died during the attack.

An estimated 240 people were taken prisoner, but 105 were later released by Hamas during a six-day ceasefire at the end of November.

These are the stories of those hostages who are still being held, which have either been confirmed by the BBC or credibly reported.

This list is regularly updated and names may change, as some people feared kidnapped are confirmed to have been killed or released.

ADVERTISEMENT

Last updated on 9 January 2024 at 17:34 GMT

Short presentational grey line

Yagev Kirsht, 34, was taken from his home in Kibbutz Nirim, alongside his wife, Rimon Buchstab Kirsht. She has now been released.

Alexander Trupanov, was taken hostage with his mother Lena Trupanov, 50, his partner Sapir Cohen, 29, and his grandmother Irina Tati, 73. All were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz as they spent the Sabbath together, according to a statement by Canada’s Raoul Wallenburg Center for Human Rights. Irina and Lena were released on Wednesday 29 November and Sapir was freed the next day.

Ariel Cunio, his girlfriend Arbel Yahud and her brother Dolev are also thought to have been abducted in the same attack on Nir Oz. Eitan Cunio, Ariel’s brother who escaped Hamas, told the Jewish Chronicle that his last message from Ariel said: “We are in a horror movie.”

David Cunio, 33, another of Ariel’s brothers, was also kidnapped from Nir Oz, family say. David’s wife Sharon Aloni Cunio and their three-year-old twin daughters Ema and Yuly were released on 27 November. Sharon’s sister Daniele Aloni, and her six-year-old daughter Emilia were both released on 24 November.

Doron Steinbrecher, 30, a veterinary nurse, was in her apartment in Kibbutz Kfar Aza when Hamas attacked, the Times of Israel reported. At 10:30 on 7 October, the newspaper said, she sent a voice message to friends: “They’ve arrived, they have me.”

Itzhak Gelerenter, 53, was taken from the Supernova festival. His family said the IDF found his phone was located in Gaza, the Times of Israel reported. His daughter Pivko told the paper: “I’m trying to think good thoughts, I have a powerful, smart, resourceful father.”

Doron Steinbrecher
Image caption,Doron Steinbrecher sent a voice message to friends during Hamas’ attack

Naama Levy, 19, was filmed being bundled into a jeep, her hands tied behind her back. The footage was released by Hamas and circulated widely on social media. According to her mother, the teenager had just begun her military service.

Yousef Zyadna, a 53-year-old Bedouin dairy farmer, was abducted from Kibbutz Holit and taken to Gaza along with his sons Hamza, 22, and Bilal, 18, and his daughter, Aisha, 16. Aisha and Bilal were released on Thursday 30 November.

Elad Katzir, 47, was abducted from Nir Oz with his mother Hanna. Hanna has now been released.

Ohad Ben Ami, 55, was kidnapped from Be’eri with his wife, Raz. She was released by Hamas on 29 November.

Twin brothers Gali and Ziv Berman, 26, were taken from Kfar Aza. Ziv was messaging a friend as the attack happened. Their family said the IDF has told them the brothers are being held in Gaza. Their brother Liran told CBN news the pair had “twin power” and were the centre of attention wherever they went.

Iraq-born Shlomo Mansour, 85, was taken captive from Kibbutz Kissufim, where he lived and worked as a chicken coop manager. His wife, Mazal, managed to escape.

Michel Nisenbaum, 59, is a dual Brazilian-Israeli citizen who has lived in Israel for 45 years and works as a computer technician, his family told Brazilian media. They also say he is diabetic and has Crohn’s disease. On 7 October, they say, someone claiming to be from Hamas answered his phone when they tried to call him.

Daniela Gilboa, 19, sent messages saying that Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where she was staying, was under attack and asked her mother to pray for her. Her boyfriend, Roy Dadon, told the Economist 1843 magazine that he believes he saw a glimpse of her in a video showing three girls being driven away in the back of an SUV.

Itay Chen, 19, a dual US-Israeli citizen and IDF solider, was on active duty with a tank unit on 7 October, according to the Times of Israel. The paper reported that his family was notified by the IDF that he is officially considered missing in action and probably being held hostage. Another soldier in his unit, Matan Angrest, 21, is also presumed to be in Gaza.

Yosi Sharabi, 51, was taken from Be’eri with his brother, Eli Sharabi, 55. Eli’s wife and two daughters were murdered in the attack. Ofir Engel, the boyfriend of Yosi’s daughter, Yuval, was also taken, but released on 29 November.

Agam Berger, 19, was kidnapped from Nahal Oz. She was seen being taken away in videos released by Hamas.

Edan Alexander, 19, is an Israeli-US citizen who volunteered to join the Israeli army. He was serving near the Gaza border at the time of Hamas’s attack. Edan’s family said they had been told by Israeli officials that he had been taken to Gaza as a hostage.

Kaid Farhan Elkadi, 53, lives with his family south of Rahat and worked as a security guard, according to Israeli media. Reports said his family believes he was kidnapped and taken to Gaza, based on images shared by Hamas.

Ilana Gritzewsky and Matan Zanguaker
Image caption,Ilana Gritzewsky and Matan Zanguaker were captured near the Gaza border, family say

Matan Zanguaker, 24, was taken with his partner Ilana Gritzewsky, 30, from Nir Oz, according to Ilana’s father. Ilana, a Mexican national, was released on Thursday 30 November.

Eitan and Yair Horn
Image caption,The family of Eitan and Yair Horn believe they were taken from Nir Oz kibbutz

Eitan Horn, 37, and his brother Yair, 45, both Argentinian citizens, were also in Nir Oz at the time of the attack. Their father Itzik said he believes they were kidnapped. Yair is a construction worker while Eitan works in education.

Itai Svirsky, 38, is thought to have been abducted when his elderly parents were killed in Be’eri. He had been visiting them for the holiday of Simhat Torah.

Keith Seigel, 64, and his wife Adrienne – often known as Aviva – Seigel, 62, were taken from their home in Kfar Aza, Keith’s brother Lee Seigel told the BBC. Adrienne was released on 26 November.

Omri Miran, 46, lived in Nahal Oz with his wife and two daughters. Omri was led away by Hamas with his hands tied, his wife Lishay told the Guardian newspaper. She told him not to be a hero, urging: “Do whatever they want because I want you back.”

Bipin Joshi
Image caption,Bipin Joshi was studying agriculture in Israel

Bipin Joshi, 23, a Nepalese student, is believed to have been taken from Kibbutz Alumim. Nepalese newspaper Setopati says he was one of 49 university students studying agriculture in Israel. It says 10 students were killed in the attack.

Ilan Weiss, 58, went missing from Kibbutz Be’eri after he was last seen leaving the house to defend the community. On 25 November, his wife Shiri Weiss, 53, and their daughter, Noga, 18, were freed from captivity in a hostage deal.

Amiram Cooper, 85, and his wife Nurit, 80, were taken from their home in Nir Oz, their daughter-in-law Noa told the BBC. The family last spoke to the couple during the Hamas attack, Noa said, when the couple were in their safe room. The family later traced Amiram’s phone to Gaza. On Monday 23 October, Nurit was one of two women to be released.

Amiram and Nurit Cooper, pictured with their granddaughter, Gali
Image caption,Amiram and Nurit Cooper, pictured with their granddaughter, Gali

Oded Lifshitz, 83, and his wife Yocheved, 85 were taken hostage from Nir Oz. On Monday 23 October, Yocheved was one of two elderly women to be freed. After hearing the news of her mother’s release, their daughter Sharone – a London-based artist – said: “While I cannot put into words the relief that she is now safe, I will remain focused on securing the release of my father and all those – some 200 innocent people – who remain hostages in Gaza.”

Haim Peri, 79, was taken from his home in Nir Oz, reports the Times of Israel, and freed hostage Yocheved Lifshitz said she saw that he was alive and well. His son Lior Peri told Talk TV that Haim had locked his wife inside the safe room before giving himself up to kidnappers.

Avraham Munder, 78, was kidnapped from Nir Oz, Israeli officials say. His wife Ruthi, daughter and grandson have since been released.

Omer Neutra, a 22-year-old Israeli-American and grandson of Holocaust survivors, put off plans to go to college in the US to study in Israel, and eventually joined the IDF. He was serving as a tank commander near Gaza when Hamas attacked. Omer’s parents say they were told by the Israeli embassy that he had been kidnapped.

Ron Benjamin
Image caption,Ron Benjamin’s vehicle was found empty following the attacks

Ron Benjamin, 53, had been taking part in a group cycle ride near the Gaza border when the Hamas attack began and he decided to drive home, his family told Israeli media. Days later, his vehicle was found empty and his family believe he was kidnapped.

Louis Har, 70, is believed to have been taken from Nir Yitzhak. His partner Clara Marman was released on 28 November along with her sister Gabriela Leimberg, 59, and Gabriela’s daughter Mia Leimberg,17. Clara and Gabriela’s brother Fernando Simon Marman, 60, also remains in captivity.

Judith Weinstein Haggai, 70, went missing from Nir Oz after the Hamas attack. Also taken hostage was her husband, Gadi Haggai, who is now reported to have died.

Alex Danzig, 75, a scholar and historian of the Holocaust, was at his home in Nir Oz, when it was attacked by Hamas. “We know for sure he was kidnapped,” his son Mati told the BBC. Alex – whose older sister Edith is a Holocaust survivor – has spent the last 30 years working for Yad Vashem, Israel’s https://gitarisgila.com/ Holocaust remembrance centre. His disappearance has triggered a campaign for his release, both in Israel and in Poland, the country of his birth.

Alex Danzig lecturing
Image caption,Alex Danzig has spent decades educating people about the Holocaust

Itzhk Elgarat, 68, was kidnapped at the same time as Alex Danzig, his brother Danny Elgert told Israel’s Kan 11 TV station, adding that he had tracked his brother’s phone to the border with Gaza.

Gadi Moses, 79, was also abducted during the same attack on Nir Oz, according to relatives and the Israeli aid agency where he worked as an agricultural expert. Efrat Katz, his partner, was initially thought to have been captured as well, but she was later found dead, the Times of Israel reported. Efrat was the mother of Doron Asher, who was taken hostage and later released with her two daughters. Ravid Katz, 51, Doron Asher’s brother, was originally thought to have been taken hostage from Nir Oz, but on 28 November his family confirmed that he had been killed on 7 October.

Yair Yaakov, 59, is listed among the hostages. His partner Meirav Tal, 53, was released on 28 November. Yair’s children Yagil, 13, and Or, 16, were released on 27 November.

A still from a video showing Yair Yaakov on the floor with a gunman next to him
Image caption,Yair Yaakov was pictured being held captive by a gunman in a video shared online

Nimrod Cohen, 19, had studied software engineering in high school, according to reports. After he was kidnapped, his father was invited to meet Pope Francis in Rome along with other hostages’ families.

Tsachi Idan, 51, was last seen by his wife, Gali, as he was taken away by Hamas gunmen. Their family had been ambushed in their safe room in Nahal Oz. Their ordeal was live-streamed by Hamas. Their eldest child, Maayan – who had just turned 18 – was shot dead, Gali told the BBC.

Tsachi Idan
Image caption,Tsachi Idan was ambushed with his wife and children and then led away

Yarden Bibas, 34, was abducted from Nir Oz. His wife, Shiri, and their two young children, Ariel and Kfir, were also taken hostage, but on 29 November, Hamas claimed they had been killed in an Israeli air strike while in captivity. The Israeli government has said it is checking the claim.

Ronen Engel, 54, was taken from Kibbutz Nir Oz along with his wife, Karina Engelbert, 51, and their two daughters, Mika, 18 and Yuval, 11. On 1 December, the organisation representing the families said he had been murdered. Karina, Mika and Yuval were released on 27 November.

Karina Ariev, a 19-year-old soldier, was serving at an army base near Gaza when she was kidnapped. Her sister Alexandra told the BBC she heard shooting as Karina called her during the attack, and later saw a video showing Karina being taken away in a vehicle.

A family photo of Karina Ariev, kidnapped from an Israeli military base near Gaza
Image caption,Karina Ariev was at the Nahal Oz military base, which was among the first to be attacked

Ofer Kalderon, 53, was taken by Hamas from Nir Oz. On 27 November his two children, Erez, 12, and Sahar, 16, were released. Two other relatives, 80-year-old Carmela Dan and her granddaughter, Noya, 12, were also believed to have been taken, but Israeli authorities later announced they had been found dead.

Yoram Metzger, 80, was a resident of Nir Oz. He has diabetes and broke his hip six months ago, his daughter-in-law said. Yoram’s wife Tamar was released on 28 November.

Nadav Popplewell, 51, and his mother Channah were taken hostage by Hamas, said Channah’s daughter Ayelet Svatitzky, who was speaking to them on the phone when the gunmen burst in. She said the captors sent pictures of her two relatives, who both have diabetes, with armed men in the background. Channah has now been released.

Omri Miran, 46, was abducted after his family opened the door to their secure shelter to an Israeli child, who said he would be killed otherwise. Omri’s wife, Lishay Lavi, said she saw him being taken away in handcuffs with three other hostages from Nahal Oz.

Liri Elbag, 18, had just started military training as an Army lookout near the Gaza border when Hamas attacked, her father Eli told the Associated Press. Eli said he saw her in a video circulated later by Hamas, crowded with others on the back of a military truck which had been seized by the gunmen.

Lior Rudaeff, 61, was taken from Nir Yitzhak during the attack. His family have heard nothing from him since then.

Short presentational grey line

A number of people are believed to have been abducted from the Supernova music festival in southern Israel. Among them:

Shlomi Ziv, 40, was part of the security detail at the festival and was initially in contact with his sisters as the attack unfolded, according to an interview with The Times of Israel. A few weeks later the family learned he was officially considered to be a hostage, the report says.

Alexander Lobanov, 32, is a Russian-Israeli citizen who was kidnapped at the festival.

Ori Danino, 25, is reported to have got away from the festival in his car, but it’s believed he was captured after turning back in an attempt to save some people he had met there.

Almog Sarusi, 26, was kidnapped from the music festival and his partner Shahar Gindi was killed, according to Israeli media. Almog’s father, Yigal, was among the relatives of hostages who met with Israel’s prime minister in October.

Omer Shem Tov, 21, called his parents as he was running away from gunfire and managed to get into a friend’s car. His parents, Shelly and Malki Shem Tov, told Israeli media they lost contact with their son and the live location on his phone showed he was beyond the border in Gaza.

Idan Shtivi, 28, an environmental sciences student, was attending the festival to take pictures at music and yoga workshops being held by friends. He escaped the site in his car but was attacked by Hamas along the route. The bodies of two of his passengers were found, and his family told the Jerusalem Post they suspect he was kidnapped.

Yosef Ohana, 24, had been at the festival with a friend, who told his mother he and Yosef had remained to help people escape the gunfire before running themselves. Yosef was last seen hiding under a car, and Israeli authorities have visited his mother to say he was kidnapped.

Andrei Kozlov, 27, a Russian who moved to Israel in 2022, is missing from the Supernova festival, where he was working as a security guard. His mother told the De Taly publication the family was told by the IDF on October 26 that he was being held hostage.

Elyakim Libman, 23, was working as a security guard at the festival. In a Facebook post his father Eliyahu Libman said another guard told him his son had helped rescue others before trying to escape. He was last seen trying to help two badly-injured women.

Noa Argamani, a Chinese-born Israeli citizen, was also kidnapped from the festival. Video footage – verified by her father Yaakov Argamani to Israel’s Channel 12 – shows the 25-year-old being taken away on the back of a motorbike screaming, “Don’t kill me!” Her boyfriend Avinatan Or, 30, also appears in the video being marched away from her by Hamas, the Times of Israel reported.

Eden Yerushalmi
Image caption,Eden Yerushalmi’s family say they were told she had been taken hostage

Eden Yerushalmi, 24, called her family during Hamas’s attack on the festival, her sister May told CBS News. The family say they were subsequently informed by the IDF that Eden had been abducted.

Chanan Yablonka, 42, is a father-of-two from Tel Aviv. According to reports, he attended the festival with friends and was due to celebrate his birthday a few days after the attacks.

Jonathan Samerano, 21, has been missing since 7am on the morning of the festival. His family have been told to presume he is being held in Gaza, Israeli media reported.

Guy Gilboa-Dalal
Image caption,Guy Gilboa-Dalal was filmed in captivity in Gaza, his family say

Guy Gilboa-Dalal, 22, attended the festival with his brother. Guy appears in a hostage video that his family say confirms he is in Gaza.

Uriel Baruch, 35, was injured during the attack on the festival, his wife said on Facebook. Reports in Israeli media say his mother, Naomi, has heard from the IDF that he is a hostage.

Maxim Kharkin
Image caption,Maxim Kharkin’s mother described speaking to him on the morning of 7 October

Maxim Kharkin is aged 35 and a Russian speaker, his mother told Russian media. She added that he had called her at 07:00 on the morning of the attack.

Elkana Bohbot
Image caption,Elkana Bohbot was seen in a video posted by Hamas

Elkana Bohbot, 34, had gone to the party with friends and, before losing contact, he spoke to his wife and mother telling them he was helping to evacuate the wounded, the Times of Israel reported. Hours later, his family found a video of him posted online by Hamas, which has been seen by BBC Verify.

Rom Braslavski, 19, was working on security for the festival. According to an account published by Hostages and Missing Families Forum, he was trying to rescue an injured person in the attack when he was caught in a volley of fire. He has not been heard from since.

Omer Wenkert, 22, a restaurant manager, sent a message to his family to say he was going to a safe shelter but then lost contact, his father Shai Wenkert told the BBC’s Today Programme. Shai Wenkert said he had seen footage of his son in captivity, including a photo of him handcuffed and wearing only underwear.

Evyatar David
Image caption,Evyatar David’s family say they were sent a video of him in captivity

Evyatar David, 23, was at the festival and on the morning of the attacks, described fleeing from gunfire before losing contact with the outside world, his brother says. Later, his family say, Evyatar’s sister posted on Instagram appealing for information about his whereabouts. She then received a text from an unknown number, which contained video footage of Evyatar handcuffed on the floor of a dark room. According to Israel’s foreign ministry he is being held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

Eitan Mor, 23, lives in Jerusalem, and was working as a security guard at the festival, the Times of Israel said. He reportedly texted his uncle after Hamas arrived and was last seen with a friend bringing others to safety.

Alon Ohel, 22, a Serbian citizen, took refuge in a shelter after the festival came under attack, his family say. They have seen footage of him being dragged away after a grenade attack.

Almog Meir Jan, 21, tried to flee the festival. He and a friend made it to the friend’s car but only managed to drive a short distance before being forced to stop. Almog’s family say they have seen a hostage video in which he appears.

Inbar Heiman, a student aged 21, was seen by two young Israeli men being taken away from the festival on a motorcycle. Hamas have released a video in which she is seen very briefly.

Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, a dual US-Israeli citizen, was badly injured in the attack, his family told the BBC. Eyewitness accounts say he was seen being forced onto a white pick-up truck – the last-known signal from his phone came from just inside Gaza.

Segev Kalfon, 26, was running away from the festival, across the highway, when he was captured by Hamas, according to the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

Shani Louk pictured with her boyfriend Orión Hernández Radoux
Image caption,Shani Louk pictured with her boyfriend Orión Hernández Radoux

Orión Hernández Radoux, 30, from Mexico, attended the festival with his girlfriend, Shani Louk. He has not been seen since. The Sun newspaper says it has seen threatening messages written in Arabic sent from his phone. Shani, a German citizen, was initially thought to be among those seized. But on 30 October, her mother Ricarda told German media that the family had been informed by Israeli military of her death following DNA identification.

Romi Lesham Gonen, 23, was on the phone to her mother as she tried to escape from the Supernova festival. Merav Leshem Gonan has recounted a conversation in which her daughter begged for help after being shot. ABC News reports that Romi’s phone is now in Gaza.

Bar Kuperstein, 21, last spoke to his family early on the morning of 7 October, as the attack unfolded. Later the same day, his family say they identified him in a video of Israeli prisoners, posted by Hamas. Since then, they say they have had no further information.

Eliya Cohen, 26, was hiding with his girlfriend Ziv from the attack, when Ziv felt him being pulled up and driven away by the gunmen, Eliya’s mother has told the video initiative #BringThemHomeNow. The family then found a photo of Eliya in Gaza, the Times of Israel reported.

Amit Buskila, 28, from Ashdod, was last heard of making a call to her uncle, Shimon, as Hamas overran the festival. Her family say they have now been told by the government that she is being held in Gaza.

Short presentational grey line

Carmel Gat, 39, is Jordan’s sister-in-law, and also was seen by her father being taken by gunmen from Kibbutz Be’eri, Haaretz newspaper reported. She has not been heard from since.

Ohad Yahalomi, 49, was abducted from Nir Oz, along with his 12-year-old son, Eitan, who was released during the November ceasefire.

Dror Or, 48, was seen by a neighbour being dragged out of his home in Be’eri, according to their nephew Emmanuel Besorai, along with his son and daughter. On Saturday 25 November Dror’s son Noam17, and daughter Alma, 13, were released from captivity. The body of Yonat, 50 – Dror’s wife and the children’s mother – was identified among the 120 people murdered at the kibbutz, Yonat’s brother told the Guardian newspaper.

Tal Shoham, 38, was taken from Kibbutz Be’eri. His wife Adi, also 38, her mother Dr Shoshan Haran, 67, were released by Hamas on 25 November, along with the couple’s children Nave, eight, and Yahel, three. Dr Haran’s husband, Avshalom – an economist and dual German/Israeli citizen – was killed on 7 October.

Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35, an American-Israeli citizen, has been missing since Hamas’s attack on Nir Oz, his father Jonathan told the BBC. He said his son was not found among the dead and the “only reasonable explanation” is that he was taken to Gaza.

Sagui Dekel-Chen
Image caption,Sagui Dekel-Chen’s father has not heard from him since Hamas attacked the kibbutz where he lived

Thailand’s ambassador to Israel says 26 of its citizens were taken hostage, 23 of whom have now been released.

Those still being held are believed to include Watchara Sriuan, 32. His mother, Viewwaew, told the Thaiger news site that the family had been informed he was being held captive.

Kiattisak “Top” Patee and a Mr Pongtorn (no first name given) have also been named by the Thai foreign ministry as hostages.

Hostages who have died

A number of other people thought to have been held hostage are now confirmed to have died, either during the 7 October attack or while in captivity.

On 16 December, the Israeli military expressed “deep remorse” after soldiers mistakenly killed three hostages in northern Gaza who had escaped from their captors. They were named as Yotam Haim, 28, Samer Talalka, 22, and Alon Shamriz, 26.

The death of Tamir Adar, 38, was announced on 5 January by the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum. Other hostages recently confirmed to have died include Gadi Haggai, Ron Scherman, Nik Beizer, Tal Chaimi, an Israeli-Romanian citizen aged 41, Joshua Mollel, a 19-year-old Tanzanian student, 27-year-old Eden Zecharya, and 36-year-old Ziv Dado.

Other fatalities include Sahar Baruch, 25, Dror Kaplun, 68, Aviv Atzili, 49, Arye Zalmanovich, 85, Ronen Engel, 54, Maya Goren, 56, Guy Iluz, 26, Ofir Tzarfati, 27, Ofra Keider, 70, and Eliyahu Margalit, 75.

The bodies of 19-year-old soldier, Noa Marciano, and 65-year-old Yehudit Weiss were found by Israeli troops in buildings close to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.

Hostages whose death has been reported, but not confirmed, include Shiri Bibas, 32, and her two young children, Ariel and Kfir.

Research by Jamie Ryan and Emma Pengelly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*