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Fernando Simon Merman

60


Fernando, known affectionately within the family as "Nano", is a warm family man, and a kind, good hearted person. He made Aliyah from Argentina in the 1990s, joining his sisters Clara and Gabriela who were already in Israel.
Fernando works in furniture. "Anything he touches, he knows how to fix. A man with golden hands, he's always willing to help anyone who asks, selflessly giving and being there for others. Fernando is also an avid football enthusiast.
On October 7th, Fernando was visiting his sister Clara Rosa Merman (63) and her partner L0uis Herr (70) at their home in Kibbutz Nir-Yitzhak, along with his younger sister Gabriela Leimberg (59) and her teenage daughter Mia Leimberg. All family members planned to spend together the holiday of Simchat Torah.
The lovely family gathering has suddenly turned into a harrowing ordeal, as the Hamas terror organization attacked the kibbutz, among other communities in southern Israel. The five family members were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists into the Gaza Strip.
The ladies; Clara, Gabriella and Mia were freed from Hamas captivity as part of a temporary cease-fire deal in late November.
In the night between February 11th and 12th, 2024, after 129 days of captivity, Shin Bet (General Security Services) and Yamam (swat team) forces, in cooperation with the IDF, rescued Fernando and Louis Herr, who were held on the second floor of a building in the heart of Rafah, Gaza. The forces covertly approached the building, breached it amidst Hamas terrorists, and successfully conducted a well-planned rescue operation, securing the hostages' safety. The operation lasted about an hour, during which there was an exchange of fire with Hamas's "Shaboura'' battalion. A soldier was slightly injured during the mission.
Welcome home dear Fernando and Louis!

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