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Eitan Yahalomi

12

Eitan Yahalomi, an Israeli-French citizen from Kibbutz Nir Oz, is the eldest son, the heart of the family from Kibbutz Nir Oz. He is a very sensitive child with a big heart, beloved in his community and blessed with his father's charismatic charm. He spends a lot of time playing and hanging out with friends. Eitan has been playing football since the age of 6. His acceptance into the Eshkol league and his participation in the Ministry of Education's program for outstanding students highlight his talents both on the field and in the classroom. Eitan's love for fantasy novels mirrors his imaginative and curious nature.

The tranquility of the Yahalomi household was shattered on the morning of October 7, when Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on Israel, violently entering their home. In a heroic attempt to protect his family, Ohad Yahalomi (49) was injured, while Eitan, alongside his mother Bat-Sheva and two sisters, faced a horrifying ordeal.

Separated from his mother and siblings during their abduction, Eitan's capture by the terrorists marked the beginning of a harrowing journey into the Gaza Strip. Miraculously, Bat-Sheva and her daughters escaped captivity, enduring a perilous trek back to safety, driven by sheer determination and a mother's instinct to protect her children at all costs.

Eitan's time in captivity was marked by isolation, leaving him unaware of his family's fate until his release. Eitan shares: "The night before, they told me I was being released. I was happy but didn't fully believe it would happen. I didn't know that my mom was doing things to get me back; I thought she was kidnapped too. Only when I got out and stepped off the van, they told me she was waiting for me (on the Israeli border)."

The joy of his liberation on November 27, after 52 long days, was tempered by the absence of his father, Ohad, whose condition and whereabouts as a hostage in Gaza remain unknown.
The uncertainty surrounding Ohad's situation weighs heavily on the family, who yearn for his safe return. In Eitan’s words: "I worry about him. I remember the booms of the explosions; it was really scary. Maybe that scares him as well. I tried to ask about him while we were there, but they wouldn't tell me anything. He must come back as soon as possible; we need to bring him and everyone else back home."

View a segment about Eitan Yahalomi, featuring Bat-Sheva Yahalomi and Doron Katz-Asher, on Israeli television (Hebrew):

https://www.mako.co.il/news-n12_magazine/2024_q1/Article-993d47d19091e81027.htm?Partner=makoApp

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