Five-year-old Emilia Aloni, recently released from captivity in Gaza with her mother Danielle, returned on Tuesday to her kindergarten in the central city of Yavne, where she resides.
She was warmly welcomed with hugs from her friends and the kindergarten teacher, who also embraced Emilia's grandfather.
In a video, Emilia is seen smiling and hugging her fellow classmates, excited about her return. One friend tells her, "I missed you," while another says, "I saw you on TV."
Emilia's grandfather Ramos Aloni told Ynet "This is the first time she's gone to kindergarten since returning from captivity. The excitement is immense. Yesterday, the kindergarten teacher came to our house for a preparatory visit. They talked and played together. Emilia was so excited last night she could hardly sleep. This morning, we took her to kindergarten and stayed nearby, just in case; Danielle and I were ready to pick her up if needed. But everything went smoothly, and she was wonderfully received."
He also described the immense excitement in the kindergarten. "The teachers were very moved, almost to tears. The children received her incredibly well, giving her hugs and making jokes. She hasn't come home from kindergarten yet; she's going straight to a friend's house, and then to another friend. We'll see her in the evening, and the plan is for her to go to kindergarten again tomorrow."
Emilia and her mother Danielle were kidnapped by terrorists on October 7 while visiting family in Kibbutz Nir Oz near the Gaza border.