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Avichai Brodutch On Getting His Wife and 3 Children Home From Gaza

Avichai Brodutch On Getting His Wife and 3 Children Home From Gaza

Since receiving the unimaginable news that his wife Hagar and his 3 children (Ofri – 10, Yuval – 8, Uria – 4) were kidnapped to Gaza by Hamas on October 7th, Avichai Brodutch from the small Kibbutz Kfar Aza in the south of Israel, went on a public struggle to bring his family back home. His struggle began with a demonstration near the Kiryabase in Tel-Aviv, and telling his story to any public channel in Israel or abroad, hoping for anyone in the upper echelon to listen to his tragedy and do everything to bring his family back.

Only one day prior to the October 7th the Brodutch family celebrated Yuval’s birthday. “We all went out to a restaurant nearby. We had a good time” he said, and proceeded to describe how the tragedy unfolded on the day after.

“We woke up at around 6:30, from the sirens (“Code Red” Israeli missile attack sirens). Hagar took the kids to the safe room, and I went outside to see what was going on, as I usually do. And then I saw this little girl Avigail (Avigail Idan – 4, who was also kidnapped by Hamas to Gaza, after witnessing her parents being murdered in front of her) and I saw her full of blood. But I could see she wasn’t hurt, it wasn’t her blood. I took her and gave her to my wife. I ran outside, I had to do something to help (Avigail’s parents), and my wife stayed at home.”

At around 11 o’clock Avihai received a message from his wife about “someone is coming in” and that was the last message he got from her. “I was devastated, I was sure they were dead” he says.  On Sunday evening he received a call informing him that his family were seen alive, being led into Gaza. “It was the best news I received in my life” he said in a trembling voice.

That day, Avihai was eventually saved by Ido, a reservist soldier of the Israeli Paratroopers Brigade who was one of the soldiers sent to fight against Hamas in the Kibbutz.

 

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A week after the 7/10 massacre, during the protest he organized by himself near the Kirya Military Base, he stated to the cameras around him the purpose of the struggle: “My goal is that the Israeli government will make any possible effort, to first and foremost bring all of our women and children back. I’m not angry at anyone; I just want the policy to be changed.”

All his emotions reached a peak on an interview on the Israeli N12 channel, when an argument between him and the member of the Israeli parliament Boaz Bismut broke out, “My family was kidnapped because there was no army to protect me – Hamas is small compared to the State of Israel” he called out.

 

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His struggle continued with interviews on different international channels such as CNN, Fox News and more, while keeping the protest at the Kirya alive, accompanied by the assistance of the Israeli Abducted and Missing Families Forum whose aim is exactly the same as his – make sure the hostages in Gaza were released as soon as possible.

On November 26, 2023, his wife and all three children were miraculously released from their captivity in the hands of Hamas for 50 days, and the family has reunited, although their healing has just begun. The Yaakovi Family, who live next to the Brodutch family in Kfar Aza said “Our feelings are mixed, on one side we are very happy, but as long as our friends and families are in the hands of the enemy we won’t stop until everyone will be here, safe and sound.”

 

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If you’d like to donate to the family’s needs – including rebuilding their lives and home – you can do so via this link.

Story as told to Shlomo Fishman