Yonat Or, her husband Dror, and two of their three teenage children were witnessed being abducted by heavily armed gunmen by another resident. The family was believed to have been seized from the Kibbutz Be’eri. Ahal’s 89-year-old father and another sister were safely evacuated after hiding in their homes’ safe rooms.

A video clip recorded at the kibbutz showed terrorists armed with machine guns searching buildings in the early hours of Hamas’s unprecedented attack across the border on a Saturday.

Who is Yonat Or?

Yonat Or, Dror and their 15-year-old son Noam and 13-year-old daughter Alma had attempted to hide from the gunmen in their home on the western edge of the community, located just three miles from Israel’s border with Gaza.

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Ahal, a Cambridge law graduate, shared his family’s ordeal after Hamas claimed to have taken 130 Israelis hostage. He explained that the family initially sought refuge in a safe room called a “mamad” in Hebrew when Hamas launched a missile attack from Gaza at 6:30 am. They locked the door, assuming it was a missile attack, but soon realized the situation was more sinister when they heard gunfire.

The terrorists arrived at the kibbutz using vehicles and motorcycles, forcing the family out of their safe room. They were observed being pulled out of the house and transported to Gaza. Ahal described the horrifying actions of the terrorists, who indiscriminately targeted children, parents, and the elderly in a five-hour rampage before the military arrived to engage them.

Ahal, who lives in Manila, the Philippines, last communicated with Dror, who informed him that they couldn’t speak as they were surrounded by gunmen. Ahal’s father hid in his “mamad” for 13 hours, while his sister remained in her safe room for 24 hours before they were evacuated to safety.

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Ahal, a 60-year-old lawyer with dual nationality, is a former soldier in the elite Shayetet 13 commando unit of the Israeli Navy, similar to the US Navy Seals. He highlighted an intelligence failure of enormous magnitude in the Hamas-led attack on Israel and suggested it might have occurred because Israel initially underestimated Hamas’s intentions, thinking the group aimed to maintain its power in Gaza rather than destroy Israel.