Noam Or, 17, and Alma Or, 13, were among those released in the prisoner exchange that took place on Saturday. For fifty days in Hamas captivity, they hoped to reunite with their mother but found that would not be possible.
“This dream had been shattered by the fact that she was murdered,” said the siblings’ maternal uncle Ahal Besorai to CNN. “My sister, their mom, was murdered on October 7. The children did not know that. We thought they were together when they were kidnapped, but they were separated from the outset.”
“When they first crossed the border and reunited with their grandmother and older brother, the first news that they had to confront was the fact that their mom was no longer alive. And that was a terribly emotional and traumatic moment for them,” Besorai added.
The siblings recounted that they were not told they were being freed. Originally, they were told they were being taken to a restroom but were then handcuffed, blindfolded, and taken to a car to be handed over to the Red Cross.
They had lived in Kibbutz Be'eri, one of the main targets for the Hamas invasion. Dror, their father, is still missing and presumed to be held by Hamas as well.
The siblings were freed uninjured, although they had lost weight in captivity. Besorai expressed that he fears for their mental health in the long term.