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Ariel Cunio

26

Ariel is the youngest of the four Cunio brothers. He lives with his partner, 28-year-old Arbel Yehud on Kibbutz Nir Oz. Ariel had recently returned from a trip to South America and Central America with Arbel, and the couple had just adopted a puppy.
On the morning of October 7th, eight members of the Cunio family were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir-Oz to the Gaza Strip.
David Cunio (33), Ariel’s brother, was kidnapped along with his wife Sharon (34) and their twin daughters, three-year-old Emma and Yuli. Sharon's sister, Daniel (44), and her daughter, Emilia (5), who had come to spend the holiday, were also taken from the Cunio residence. Ariel, Arbel Yehud, and her brother, Dolev Yehud (35), were taken hostage as well, from their homes on the kibbutz.
As missile alerts sounded across the country on that Saturday, family members contacted Sharon and David. Initially, Sharon assured them they were safe in their shelter. But soon, she reported hearing terrorists next door, and then, terrifyingly, inside their own home, expressing fear for their lives. Later, she revealed through a voice message that their house was on fire, with smoke infiltrating the shelter. The final communication came at 11:20 a.m.
Later that day, a TikTok video showed David, Sharon, and one of the twins in the back of a pickup truck with armed Hamas terrorists.
The only insight into the events of that morning at Ariel and Arbel’s home is a message Ariel sent to his brother Eitan, stating, “We are in a horror film.”
Sharon and the twins were released on November 27 from Hamas captivity as part of a temporary cease-fire deal. Sharon’s sister, Daniel, and her daughter,Emilia, were released three days earlier.
David, Ariel, Arbel and Dolev are still held hostage in Gaza. Their family eagerly awaits their safe return home.

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