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Itay Regev

18

Itay Regev from Herzliya has a zest for life, enjoying surfing, laughter, and good times. As an athletic teenager, Itay played soccer for the Ramat Hasharon team. Itay values spending time at the beach with friends and sharing laughter. Known for his popularity, he's often at the heart of his social group, always ready to revel in a great party.
Itay and his 21-year-old sister Maya share a close bond. The two were eagerly anticipating to dance and enjoy the open-air rave at the Nova trance music festival in the western Negev, near Re’im.
On the eve of the festival, the Regev siblings and their mother Mirit had just returned from a trip to Mexico, narrowly making it to the Nova festival despite missing their scheduled flight, unaware of the nightmare that would unfold.
On Saturday October 7th, Hamas terrorists launched a murderous assault on southern Israeli communities, including the Nova festival, filled with thousands of young attendees. Omer Shem Tov, 21, a close friend of Maya and Itay, and Ori Danino, 25, a newfound friend, were with them at the festival. As the chaos unfolded, Ori rescued a few party-goers with his car, and came back to rescue Maya, Itay and Omer - but the group was soon ensnared by terrorists, leading to their abduction.
Both Maya and Itay were shot and injured during the assault, a distressing fact made public through a video posted by Hamas, that depicted the siblings and Omer bound and frightened on a pickup truck, on their way to the Gaza Strip.
Mirit, speaking about the moment the IDF informed her that her children were kidnapped in Gaza, said: "It was a surreal moment, the kind that Israel is full of these days. I can't believe I feel blessed that Maya and Itay are held hostage in Gaza. It's absurd. Our country, how do you not protect us? These are Zionist children who love the land of Israel, they love to live and have fun, they love life (...) You raise children and teach them not to drink and drive, to avoid danger. You're not teaching them what to do in case they get kidnapped by Hamas."
Transported to a hospital in Gaza, Maya underwent surgery in her leg under anesthesia, while Itay faced the ordeal without it. Throughout his captivity, Itay was held alongside Omer, experiencing frequent relocations under armed Hamas surveillance.
Maya's captivity ended on November 25th, thanks to a temporary ceasefire agreement, with Itay's release occurring four days later, under the same agreement. After a recovery journey in the hospital, the siblings returned home, healing both physically and emotionally.
Itay revisited the scene of the tragedy three months following that dreadful attack, to amplify the outcry of those abducted: "For 54 days I was a hostage - each day there dragged on like an eternity. The living conditions are exceedingly severe; it's incredibly tough to endure. The abductees cannot endure another moment there, and it's imperative that everyone returns home immediately! I was detained along with a very close friend, Omer Shem Tov. He, along with all the hostages, needs to be freed as soon as possible."
The Regev siblings have dedicated themselves to campaigning for the safe return of Omer, their dearest friend, alongside all others who remain in captivity.

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