Fernando Simon Marman and Louis Har, the two hostages rescued overnight in the heroic operation in Rafah, were abducted on the morning of October 7 from Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak along with three other family members who have already returned to Israel as part of the hostage deal at the end of last November: Louis' partner and the sister of Fernando, Clara Marman, 63; her sister, Gabriela Leimberg, 59;) and Gabriela's daughter Mia, 17, whose photo as she returned to Israel with her dog Bella that was kidnapped together with her became identified with that hostage deal.
Now, after 129 days of a continuous nightmare - the family that was kidnapped together from the safe room of Clara's home in Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak is together again.
On the morning of the October 7 massacre, the five of them hid together in the protected room and they were all kidnapped. Previously, their family member Maayan Sigal-Koren told Ynet in an interview that they were all together, in the safe room at her mother's house: "They had all gathered in the safe room at my mother's place to celebrate my niece's birthday, though fortunately my niece was not there that morning. Around 11:00 a.m., terrorists, entered the premises. We know this from the text messages they sent - they wrote that they broke into their house and broke things, sent kisses and after that all communication ceased," Sigal-Koren said. There were signs of gunfire in the house, but no signs of a struggle, she also said.
After returning from Gaza as part of the hostage deal, after 53 days in captivity, Clara Marman described the morning of the kidnapping - and the moment she said goodbye to Fernando and Louis in captivity in Rafah.
"Everything I put to block the door they knocked down. They entered the safe room and my sister said in Spanish 'Killing us all.' I started saying 'calm down, let's do what they say and it will be fine.' They started screaming for us to come with them. I don't speak Hebrew well, but neither do they. They shouted at us in English 'go, go, go!' We went out and saw a lot of glass in the house. They entered through the windows and broke them. We were taken out the door. When I left, I saw that all the windows and doors in the neighborhood were broken. I thought half the kibbutz was already in Gaza," she said.
Last month, Clara told Ynet that she was "despondent", and explained: "I was supposed to be very happy after the liberation from the Gaza Strip, but a part of me remained there - both my partner and my brother. It's weighing heavily on me, and I don't exactly feel like I came back - in my head I'm still there. Physically I'm here, but the feeling is that a big part of me remains there. Right now, I'm making every effort to enter the fight and fight as much as possible so that they come back. The slogan 'The heart is there', for me it's not a slogan, my heart really is a prisoner because my brother, Fernando Marman, is there, and so is my partner Louis Har."
"Before the operation started, they said we were a package deal as a family and would leave together. However, when the process began, they stated it was only children and women, and the men would stay. So, we were already prepared, discussing it among ourselves," Clara said". For my sister and me, it was very difficult; we said there was no chance, and we only wanted to leave together. But Fernando and Louis said, 'No chance, you're leaving.' They tried to handle it as calmly as possible so that we wouldn't suffer, but it was hard for both us and them."
"We thought there must be more children, a few more women, and then they would start with the men. 'See you soon,' we said. At that point, it wasn't dramatic externally, but it was incredibly tough for us. Louis is a father of four and a grandfather to ten grandchildren. I asked him what message to convey to the family, and he said, 'Wait for me in the green gardens, tell them I love them very much, and soon we'll see each other and embrace.' And then we hugged and parted ways."
When Clara shared her story, she clarified the importance of freeing all the hostages, although she did not agree to share many details of what took place during the captivity. "We were in Rafah, quite close to Nir Yitzhak actually," she described. "It is important to continue with the struggle, it is important to do everything to free them. We must free them. When we said goodbye to Louis and Fernando, we thought you would continue the deal, another release and another release and they're coming after us. This only starts with women and children and we're sure they won't abandon them. They must not be abandoned."
Following the rescue, the two men were evacuated to Sheba Hospital, where they were reunited with their family, and their condition is determined to be good, according to the IDF spokesman.