World famous agriculture expert and founder of the NGO Fair Planet has been held hostage by the Hamas since the October 7 attack at a Be’eri Kibbutz near the Gaza border.
Yuval Haran hasn’t heard from his parents since Saturday morning, when he rang his mother, and she told him they were hidden inside the shelter of their home in the Be’eri Kibbutz. His mother told him that they could hear gunfire outside. She disconnected the call, and at 10 am when Yuval tried calling her again, she didn’t answer.
“But one of my family members called them at 9.30, and they told him that terrorists were entering their shelter. After that I haven’t heard about them and haven’t been able to contact them since,” said Haran, who grew up on the kibbutz in Southern Israel, a few miles from the Gaza border. “We lost contact with her after the attack by Hamas, but my father Avshalom's phone was tracked to Gaza, and they believe the whole family was taken.”
More than 100 bodies have been removed from the kibbutz after the brutal attack by Hamas terrorists on the morning of October 7. Yuval said his parents, Dr Shoshan Haran, Abd Avshalom Haran, and other eight relatives, Adi Shoham; her partner, Tal Shoham; and their two children, Naveh and Yahel Shoham, who are eight and three, are yet to be found.
“I fear the worst, but they may be alive and being held hostage in Gaza. I don’t know if they are all together or have been separated,” says Yuval, urges the Red Cross and other humanitarian NGOs to get him some information about his parents and family members. “I want this to end. We have lost enough, and I hope there are no more casualties,” he says.
Roshan’s NGO works toward the mission that ‘no child in the world should remain hungry’. She was working in Africa with poor people to teach them farming and live a sustainable life. “My entire family is in this mission. We have given life to many families. And now, the terrorists are holding her hostage,” says Yuval.
Dr Shoshan also holds citizenship in Germany, “but she is a citizen of the world, and she didn’t deserve to see this. My whole family is missing, and I have no clue where they are,” he says.
Yuval also says that those living on the Be’eri kibbutz did really fear the atrocities for a few months on a similar scale.
“Because there have always been attacks and wars. In the last one year more than 1,000 citizens evacuated in the last one year. There was also the fear of tunnels that would allow Hamas to launch cross-border raids, and that’s exactly what happened,” says Yuval.
The fear of Hamas’ attack did increase in the past few years when the army shifted their focus to protecting settlers rather than protecting Negev and kibbutzs around.