Unity in Adversity: Community Rallies as Family Abducted in Kibbutz Near Gaza

In a harrowing incident that underscores the relentless challenges facing Israeli border communities, a family of ten, including children as young as three, was shockingly abducted from their home in the kibbutz of Be’eri during the recent Hamas incursion into southern Israel. This heart-wrenching event, as reported by a non-profit organization, marks a poignant moment of trial for the closely-knit residents of these frontier settlements.

Shaked Haran, a former Be’eri kibbutz member, revealed the unimaginable — her parents, along with extended family members spanning three generations, were forcibly taken to Gaza amid the chaos. The abductees included her sister, brother-in-law, their children, and other relatives who call the kibbutz home.

In a chilling reminder of past traumas, when Shaked reached out to her family’s cell phones, an unfamiliar voice, heavy with an Arabic accent, answered with words that struck fear into the hearts of many Israelis: “Kidnapped, Gilad Shalit, Gaza.” This reference to the 2006 abduction of then-IDF soldier Gilad Shalit by Hamas militants was a stark echo of a national wound yet to fully heal.

The community of Be’eri, situated perilously close to the Gaza border, experienced unthinkable loss during this invasion. The town mourned the discovery of over a hundred residents who fell victim to the violence, representing more than a tenth of its vibrant population, post the IDF’s valiant effort in reclaiming control.