Only a small fraction – around 2.8% – of Israel’s more than nine million inhabitants live in kibutzim. For their residents, they are more than just plots of land formerly used for agriculture and an example of cooperativism. They are, as five relatives of Israelis kidnapped in Gaza explained this Thursday, rather “extended families.” being the “best and safest place to live for Jews”. That was, until Hamas arrived on October 7.
“The terrorists entered the kibbutz and they massacred an entire community. They burned houses with people inside. They went house to house and kidnapped or killed neighbors,” explained Marev Mor Raviv, whose uncles, cousin and nephew were kidnapped in Nahal Oz on the morning of October 7. The body of another cousin of his was found dead, riddled with bullets. and with his hands tied, lying on the road 48 hours later. “My family has been in the country for more than 50 years. kibbutz, it is your home. My uncle Avraham has been helping children from Gaza come to Israel for years to receive better medical treatment. We have always wanted peace, but what these people do… I can’t even call them people or animals. They are something that we are not able to understand. Help us save our families,” he asked.
Mor Raviv was just one of five Israelis who traveled to Madrid this Thursday – during a European tour that will also take them to Brussels, The Hague and Berlin, among other cities – to demand the release of their loved ones held by the Islamist group and the help from the Spanish Government and denounce the “war crimes” that Hamas has openly documented on social media. Total, at least 224 people have been arrested and are believed to be held in the Gaza Strip. The relatives made this request at a press conference held at the headquarters of the Jewish Community of Madrid after meeting with the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, where they also demanded the support of the Executive for the release of the hostages.
The event, which was held just a few minutes after Hamas announced the death of 50 kidnapped by Israeli bombings, was attended by the Israeli ambassador to Spain, Rodica Radian-Gordon, who thanked her compatriots for “sharing their first-hand testimonies” and asked the Spanish people to “join” his requests for release.
“There is no precedent in the world for the criminal kidnapping of such a large mass of civilians, It is a clear war crime, with all the ethical, legal and international connotations. I have come here today to ask Spain and all democratic communities not to remain silent and demand the release of my relatives,” claimed Maayan Sigal-Koren.