Ynet photographer surprises son deployed in Gaza

Gil Yohanan on assignment in the Strip is able to grab 5 minute with son serving in IDF after weeks without contact; 'I hope I gave him strength, a hug from Dad is always good'

Roni Green Shaulov|

Gil Yohanan meets his son Niv in the Gaza Strip
(Video: Ron Ben Yishai)

For a month and a half, Ynet photographer Gil Yohanan has been anxiously wondering about the well-being of his son Niv, who is deployed in the war in the Gaza Strip.
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On Wednesday, when he entered Jabalia in the northern part of the Strip to cover a story, he was able to briefly meet his son inside the combat zone, where forces were gathered for the ongoing operations.
2 View gallery
רון בן ישי נכנס לרצועת עזה
רון בן ישי נכנס לרצועת עזה
Gil Yohanan meets his son Niv in the Gaza Strip
(Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"I knew that Niv was somewhere nearby," Yohanan who was embedded with an IDF force says. "I told myself, to give it time.. let's see if fate will bring us together. An hour before our return, I thought, 'Enough, I'm so close, how can I not see him?' The platoon I was with reached out to Niv's platoon, and I told him to join us, ensuring he didn't know the reason for his arrival."
Gil says that before his son appeared, the convoy that was supposed to take the journalists out of Gaza had already arrived. He feared he might not have enough time to see Niv and tried to delay the convoy as much as possible. "At the last minute, before we boarded the vehicles, he arrived. He looked at me, surprised. We were both moved. I haven't been so emotional in a long time. We had five minutes to chat a bit and hug."
2 View gallery
רון בן ישי נכנס לרצועת עזה
רון בן ישי נכנס לרצועת עזה
Gil Yohanan meets his son Niv
(Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Niv, 19, entered Gaza at the beginning of the war, and since then, Yohanan and the family, like many families in Israel, have been grappling with uncertainty over the safety of their children, fathers, siblings, because communications were not possible. "We didn't know where he was, we didn't know anything, he says. "We all worry about him a lot. I hope I gave him strength; a hug from Dad is always good. I told him to take care of himself and keep a clear head."
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