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Liam Or

18

Liam Or is a cheerful, empathetic individual with a keen sense of humor, and a talented chess player. He is a football enthusiast, fervently supporting Hapoel Tel Aviv and FC St. Pauli, never missing a match before his abduction by Hamas.
Before that harrowing day, Liam worked as a kindergarten teacher in the Kibbutz's preschool, where he channeled his immense tenderness and attentiveness. "This role allowed him to manifest his profound sensitivity, his caring nature, and his attentiveness to the subtleties of language, facial expressions, and emotions," his family reflected.
On Saturday October 7, amidst the Hamas-initiated onslaught at Kibbutz Be’eri, Liam was forcibly kidnapped to Gaza. At the same time, his uncle Dror Or (48) and his teenage cousins, Alma and Noam were also kidnapped. Tragically, his aunt Yonat Or (51) was murdered by the terrorists.
Speaking to his family over the phone that morning, they perceived the terror in his voice as they witnessed him being mercilessly snatched from his room.
Liam endured 54 days in Hamas captivity before he was freed as part of a temporary cease-fire agreement. Alma and Noam were freed under the same agreement a few days earlier. Dror Or, Liam’s uncle, is still held hostage in Gaza.
The relief of his release was overshadowed by the grief for his lifelong best friend, Amit Gabai, who was murdered on October 7th. Liam poured out his sorrow on Instagram, honoring their inseparable bond. "Gabai, my brother. From day one we were neighbors, best of friends. You've been my constant, from daycare to high school, true brothers in every sense. Through thick and thin, we always had each other's backs. I will never forget who you were to me. All our nature trips, and endless adventures, including that spontaneous trip to Barcelona for a Hapoel game, are unforgettable. Now, after endless wakeful hours, it's your memory that sustains me. You were my guardian angel, and I trust you'll continue to watch over me. Thank you, Amit, for your unparalleled uniqueness and magical presence. I cherish you deeply. My brother Amit, your love surpasses all. Keep guarding me. The rap king of the Middle East."
Liam's return resonated beyond Israel's borders, particularly with FC St. Pauli fans and the team itself, which celebrated his freedom on social media: "18-year-old Liam was kidnapped on October 7. Now, he is free again. We're looking forward to welcoming you to our stadium soon, Liam!".

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