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Yarden Roman Gat

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Yarden Roman Gat's life journey weaves through the scenic landscapes of Kochav Yair, Jerusalem, pastoral Kibbutz Be'eri, and recently, to the bourgeois atmosphere of Givatayim. Married to Alon Gat, her soulmate, the duo welcomed their daughter, Geffen, adding a new layer of joy to their lives. Settling in Alon's childhood paradise, Kibbutz Be'eri, they embraced the kibbutz's idyllic life. Yet, the shadow of missile attacks and the lack of a sense of security, pushed them towards Givatayim, seeking safety and proximity to Yarden's close-knit family.
A physiotherapist by profession, Yarden holds a master's degree in gerontology. Her passions stretch to mountain climbing, exploring new terrains, and expressing her creative self through painting.
Alon, Yarden and Geffen came to the kibbutz to celebrate with Alon’s family on Friday, Simchat Torah eve, and stayed the night. The tranquility of their life was shattered on Saturday October 7, when Kibbutz Be’eri faced an unprecedented attack from the Hamas terror organization. The brutal attack resulted in the tragic loss of Alon's mother, Kinneret, and the kidnapping of his sister, Carmel by Hamas terrorists. Yarden, Alon, and Geffen found themselves in the clutches of another group of armed terrorists, embarking on a perilous journey towards Gaza's border. A moment of desperation turned into a dash for freedom when they saw an IDF tank. In a split-second decision, they escaped the terrorists' grasp. They jumped off the car and ran, with Yarden holding 3-year-old Geffen. They both kept running while hearing the terrorists shooting at them as they were chased.
Yarden knew that Geffen's best chance of survival would be with Alon, since he could run faster, so she handed Geffen to him. Alon ran ahead as fast as he could, quickly looking back towards Yarden. Yarden, exhausted, fell to the ground. She played dead, but when the terrorists found her, they grabbed her by the arms, dragged her to the car, and kidnapped her to Gaza.
Meanwhile, Alon found a hidden ditch where Geffen could hide. He placed his daughter on the ground and protected her with his body, trying to keep her quiet for 9 hours without food or water, well aware that his mission was to save her life. All the while, he was terribly worried about Yarden, not knowing her whereabouts or fate. After nightfall, he began walking through the fields towards the kibbutz, carrying a weary Geffen in his arms, until they were finally rescued.
Gili Roman, Yarden's brother, set out with the help of brave volunteers on the search for Yarden through the terrorist-infested terrain, based on Alon’s information regarding her last known location. Finding no trace or evidence after 5 days of searching, they concluded that she had been taken to Gaza as a hostage.
Yarden’s bravery shone even in captivity; paraded through Gaza's streets to a cheering mob, she remained strong despite the uncertainty of her family's fate. The broadcast of Alon's cousin on Israeli radio three weeks later, advocating for the release of her and Carmel Gat, became a beacon of hope, hinting at her family's safety.
Amid her ordeal in captivity, the rock-climbing community in Israel united, showcasing unwavering support for one of their own.
On November 29, after 54 days of fear and longing, a temporary ceasefire deal facilitated Yarden's return to her family. Alon woke up little Geffen in the middle of the night to share the heartwarming news: mommy had been found and was on her way home. In the hospital the three were reunited at last, dancing and bouncing with joy, chanting “mommy’s found!”, a reunion made bittersweet by the ongoing captivity of Alon’s sister. Carmel Gat, 39, is still held in the hands of Hamas terrorists in Gaza at the time of writing these lines.
In the days that followed their abduction, the Roman and Gat families transformed their anguish into action, setting up a "war room" and engaging with the media globally. Currently, the family, bolstered by Yarden's involvement, is wholeheartedly committed to campaigning for Carmel's safe and prompt return home, as well as the return of all others still in captivity.

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