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Ofir Engel

17

Ofir is a Dutch-Israeli citizen from kibbutz Ramat Rachel near Jerusalem. Ofir is Yoav and Sharon's eldest son, a brother to Shir (16) and Aviv (14). Ofir is the fourth grandchild out of 14 of Grandpa Jocha. Jocha’s parents, Holocaust survivors, immigrated from the Netherlands to Israel because they no longer felt safe in Europe.
The Engels are a sports-oriented family. The father of the family, Yoav, manages the sports center of ‘ ש.ל.ו.ה' in collaboration with Hapoel Jerusalem. They've established six teams for children, youth, soldiers, and adults with special needs. Ofir played basketball for eight years in Hapoel Jerusalem's teams. He was recently proud to join the basketball team of Eshkol Region in the Gaza surrounding in Israel.
Last year, at a kibbutz conference, Ofir met Yuval Sharabi from Kibbutz Be’eri, who became his girlfriend. After practice, he would usually stay with her in Be’eri.
Ofir was taken hostage by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023, during a murderous surprise attack launched at southern Israel. Ofir, who was visiting his girlfriend at the time, remained in contact with his family throughout the morning amid rocket attacks.
The last communication from Ofir to his family was at 12:30 p.m., where he mentioned hiding with the Sharabi family in their safe room. Later, Nira Sharabi informed the Engel family that her husband, Yossi Sharabi, their son Ofir, along with another teenager, Amit Shani (16) from Be’eri had been abducted by the terrorists and taken into Gaza.
The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, along with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, visited the Engel family and promised to do everything in their power to release Ofir.
Ofir was released on Yoav's 51st birthday, after 54 days in Hamas captivity, as part of a temporary cease-fire deal.
The best birthday present Yoav Engel could ever receive!

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