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Omer Wenkert

22

Omer, 22 years young from Gedera, is a chef's restaurant manager. He is passionate about music, loves to dance, and enjoys spending time with friends. He radiates warmth and happiness, always ready to lend a hand to anyone in need.
Omer attended the Nova trance music festival near Re’im with his childhood friend, 22-year-old Kim Damati for a night of dancing and fun. On Saturday 7th of October Hamas terrorists crossed from Gaza into Israel and attacked the southern Israeli communities, including the thousands of young people at the Nova music festival. Tragically, during that unprecedented violent attack, the lovely, gentle Kim was murdered, and Omer was taken hostage into Gaza.
Niva, Omer’s mother, shares the last communication she had with her son: “When he reached the shelter, he told me there were a million non-stop explosions and enormous stress," Niva recalls, "there was gunfire from automatic weapons, relentless shooting, and he didn't want to leave until they get rescued. I later asked him if everything was alright, and he wrote 'no, I'm terrified.'" The family later found a photo of Omer bound in a pickup truck, visibly battered by his captors. Another photo showed Omer alive in Gaza.
Omer, who battles colitis, a condition that causes intense pain under stress, is now without his necessary medications. The Wenkert family and others met with Red Cross representatives, stressing the critical need for hostages to receive life-saving medications, pointing out that some are seriously injured or ill. The Red Cross advised them to "think positively." Israel later sent life-saving meds through the Red Cross, but there's no proof these reached the hostages in Gaza.
Omer's friends are managing the restaurant “Nina Bianca” in kiryat Ekron in his absence. They are confident he will return, safe and sound, and until then- they continue to run the place without him and for him.
Known for his love of wine, Omer's family and friends have been gathering every Friday evening since October 7th, toasting in his honor, missing him terribly and hopeful for his swift return.
Omer loves this song by Bar Tzabary. Let’s listen to ‘Johnny’ and sing our lungs out for Omer, sending him good vibes to come home soon:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52CzYCmJFD8

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