Israeli turns 86 in Hamas captivity in Gaza

March 18, 2024 by Amelie Botbol
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Israeli hostage Shlomo Mansour, the oldest of 134 captives still being held by Hamas in Gaza, turned 86 years old on Sunday.

Shlomo Mansour and his wife Mazal. Photo courtesy of the Hostage and Missing Families Forum.

“Of course, it is not an easy day for us,” Moshit Mansour, Shlomo’s daughter, told JNS. “We are trying to keep it together by sticking with one another and doing things that our father loves. This is how we deal with it.”

The last time Shlomo’s family heard from him was on Oct. 7 right before Hamas terrorists stormed his Kibbutz Kissufim home. After Shlomo was beaten, he was led away in handcuffs in full view of his wife of 60 years, who miraculously escaped.

Shlomo’s family, including his 15 grandchildren, are anxious for his return.

“We are waiting to finally be on the safe side after a deal and the return of the captives. Until then we can’t really say anything,” Moshit said in reference to Mossad Chief David Barnea’s reported imminent departure for hostage negotiations in Doha.

A source told Reuters that the talks would centre around the remaining gaps between the sides, including the number of Palestinian terrorists to be released from Israeli prisons and the delivery of humanitarian aid into the coastal enclave.

On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the latest Hamas demands “absurd,” yet still agreed to send a delegation to Qatar.

In January, the family and friends of Israel’s youngest hostage—Kfir Bibas—marked his first birthday.

On Oct. 7, Shiri, her husband Yarden and their two children, Ariel, 4, and Kfir, then 9 months old, were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in Nir Oz, less than a mile from the Gaza border.

In late November, 110 Israelis and foreign nationals were released as part of a week-long truce between Israel and Hamas. While most women and children were freed, Shiri, Ariel and Kfir were not among those who returned.

Shortly thereafter, Hamas released a video showing Yarden, emaciated, imploring the Israeli government to broker a deal for his family, even as terrorists indicated they had perished in an Israeli airstrike. The claim was not confirmed by the IDF.

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