'Help me, they're here inside the house,' Israeli couple feared abducted to Gaza

Exclusive: Families of Meirav Tal and Yair (Yaya) Yaakov received chilling messages from couple during Hamas raid on their border town; Video released by terror group suggests they’re likely alive and have been taken to Palestinian enclave

At 8:30 in the morning, the last call with Meirav Tal, 53, from Kibbutz Nir Oz was made. According to her sister, she already had a feeling that this time she was experiencing something different.
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“I spoke with my sister; I asked her if everything was okay because there were already alarms,” says her sister, Sigal Sharabi. “She told me that they were in the bomb shelter and she hears a lot of shooting outside. She said she had heard about an infiltration, but probably not in their area, but further south. I told her, 'Don't worry, the shots you hear are probably our soldiers protecting you; you are safe.'
3 View gallery
Meirav Tal and Yair (Yaya) Yaakov
Meirav Tal and Yair (Yaya) Yaakov
Meirav Tal and Yair (Yaya) Yaakov
(Photo: Courtesy of the family)
“She replied that she was scared and the booms were loud; I told her to be calm and it would be resolved. Later, we all reassured each other in the family group chat. Each one of us said everything was fine; she said they were fine too and that they were in the bomb shelter, even sending a picture of her coffee cup."
At 9:15, in the family's “Adults” group chat, without the young children, Tal's relatives received two chilling voice messages.
“They're inside the house, they fired at us in the room. Yaya, he held the door. They're inside the house, yelling ‘Ahmed, Ahmed.’ Help me, they shot us, Yaya's hurt. Call the police.”
And immediately after that: “Help me, they're here inside the house. Help me, help me, help me. Help us, call the police, quick. They're here inside the house.
“A moment after I tried to return her call, there was no one to talk to anymore,' says her sister Sigal. These two messages were the last sign of life from her.

Kidnapped mother found in Hamas video

According to family members, along with Tal, her partner Yair Yaakov was also kidnapped. He was with her in the bomb shelter and struggled against the terrorists' attempts to infiltrate it, as well as her two children, aged 12 and 16, Yigal and Or, who were at a nearby house in the kibbutz at the time.”
“Their mother said she was on the phone with the younger one, and she heard him screaming and saying, 'Don't take me, I'm too young,' and then the call was disconnected,” says Tomer, 24, Merav Tal's daughter.
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Tomer Tal-Alfasi
Tomer Tal-Alfasi
Tomer Tal-Alfasi
(Photo: Courtesy)
“We do not know if the children were kidnapped with them; we suspect so. Another daughter was in a different house, and the terrorists did not enter the bomb shelter there; they stayed there for many hours even after the IDF entered because they suspected they might have booby-trapped the bomb shelter door. I was in contact with her all this time; she told me herself that there were terrorists in the house and she didn't know anything."
for Tal and her partner in various hospitals, checking the casualty list without clear knowledge of their fate. The daughter, Tomer, adds that neither government nor military representatives contacted them with any information regarding the situation. "I spoke with her that morning. Afterward, there was no reception for many hours. In the evening, I drove to [Highway] 433 to open a file and provide a DNA sample," she said.
Sharabi reported that through cellular location tracking on the mother's phone at 6:30pm on Sunday indicated she was still within the kibbutz. The family began a search for Tal and her partner at various hospitals, navigating through casualty lists without clear information on their whereabouts or condition.
Tomer, the daughter, added that no government or military officials provided them with any information about the situation. "I spoke with her that morning. Then, there was no reception for several hours. In the evening, I drove to [Highway] 433 to file a report and provide a DNA sample," she said.
On Sunday, the family received a message from a friend who mentioned she saw Meirav in a video published by Hamas on Telegram. "I had previously posted on Facebook," Tomer recounts, "it received many shares, and then someone told me she had seen her in a Hamas video and it was definitely them."
3 View gallery
קיבוץ ניר יצחק בזמן המלחמה
קיבוץ ניר יצחק בזמן המלחמה
Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak during the war
She says, and Meirav’s sister adds, "Of course, the video was edited, with music. It showed them being taken out of the shelter, breaking the door, part of the broken house in the background, and my sister probably pleading with the terrorist not to kill her."
From that moment on, Tal's family members, including her two children, Tomer Tal-Alfasi, 24, and Uri Tal-Alfasi, 21, have been operating in complete uncertainty. "On Monday at seven in the evening, a reserve officer and two social workers came to tell my brother and me that she is on the list of captives. Something we had already known by ourselves a whole day before.
“Since then, no institution has reached out to us, neither the government nor the military, no one. We are acting alone and doing everything by ourselves. There is no one guiding us on what to do, what to say, and also what not to say. We are alone. If we don't care, no one will," says Tomer, Tal's daughter.
According to Tomer, the reality of the absence of support from a professional body is palpable. She states that the families have organized spontaneously through a WhatsApp group, where they update each other and try their best to cope with the tough situation their relatives have independently fallen into.
"There are many, many families, 324 participants. In the group, we are both abductees and missing. There are families that still do not know for certain what happened to their family members."
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