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Karina Engelbert

51

Karina is a formidable woman for whom her children are her entire world. Being a cancer survivor, she embodies the essence of a lioness, and as her family and acquaintances affirm, her strength persists, even in captivity.
Karina made Aliya from Argentina and established a home with Ronen Engel in Holon. Twelve years ago the Engel family moved to Kibbutz Nir Oz with their children: Tom (21), Mika (18) and Yuval (11).
In the morning of October 7th, Karina’s husband Ronen (54), who was an emergency medical technician, grabbed his medic backpack and went out to save the lives of other members of the Nir Oz community. His backpack was later found abandoned in the kibbutz area.
Four members of the Engel family; Ronen, Karina, and their daughters Mika and Yuval, were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. Tom, the firstborn, did not spend the weekend on the kibbutz. In the family’s last messages, they said they were hiding in their sealed room, aware of what was taking place on the grounds of the kibbutz.
The Engels’ phones were later traced and located in Gaza, and family members were told there were no signs of violence in the house, that it wasn’t burned, and their dogs were still alive.
Karina is an Argentinean-Israeli citizen. The family has been trying to seek support from the Argentine Embassy in Israel and through South American media for their plea to release the Engels four.
Karina, Mika, and Yuval were released on November 27, 2023 as part of a temporary cease-fire deal, and were reunited at home with Tom.
Tragically, after 55 days of uncertainty, the family was informed that Ronen had been murdered. The IDF confirmed the death of Ronen Engel on December 1, 2023, while his body is still being held in Gaza. Ronen left behind a heart-broken family.

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