'I so wanted to believe you were alive,' freed girl writes to murdered mom

13-year-old Alma Or and her brother Noam abducted by Hamas terrorists to Gaza are unaware of their parents' fate; only after their release, find out their mother was murdered and their father taken hostage
Nina Fox |
Alma Or was kidnapped to Gaza together with her brother Noam during the October 7 atrocities. They were held for 51 days when they knew nothing about the fate of their parents. Only upon their return were they informed that their mother Yonat was murdered and their father Dror was also being held hostage.
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"I couldn't believe it," Alma says. "I was trying to deny it, but when I came back, I realized that the worst thing happened. I didn't get to say goodbye to you properly", she wrote on Instagram. Now, more than three months after her release Alma speaks to and about her dead mother for the first time.
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פוסט באינסטגרם של עלמה אור בת ה-13 שנחטפה לעזה מקיבוץ בארי
פוסט באינסטגרם של עלמה אור בת ה-13 שנחטפה לעזה מקיבוץ בארי
Alma Or's Instagram post writing to her murdered mother
"Mom, it's been four months that I haven't talked about you at all, four months that I've been trying not to mention you, four months of trying to deny everything, four months that I couldn’t believe what has happened, four months since the most important thing in the world was taken away from me", Or writes in an Instagram post.
"Mom, I can't believe you're gone. Until now I couldn't talk about you. I kept it all to myself, trying to suppress it. Mom, I'm glad we got to say 'I love you' to each other on that day, but I didn't get to say goodbye to you properly. Mom, I had dreams about you, I miss you so much. I can't believe I'm talking about you in the past tense. The thing I was so afraid of happened to me so unexpectedly. I knew there would come a day when you will no longer be here, but I've never imagined it would be today."
Or describes the difficulty in the loss of her mother: "It's not only a mother that I miss, but it's your laughs, your hugs that I miss; I miss this someone who will tell me to stand up for myself and not to be troubled by anyone standing in my way, I miss your strength, I miss your voice, I miss your fear, I miss your breath, I just miss you in everything that I do. I miss hearing you asking me 'How was your day' or 'How did it go'".
Mom, I can't stop thinking about you, and about not being able to talk about you throughout this time", Or shares in the grief. Now I can only hope that somehow you see all this from above and smile. I hope that you are up there with all your friends and mine."
After the release of the siblings from captivity, Ahal Besoari, Alma and Noam's uncle told CNN in an interview that the kids were not aware that their mother was murdered on October 7. The uncle, who lives in the Philippines, told CNN that the thought of reuniting with their mother strengthened the two during the long and terrible time in the Gaza Strip and that they were told the terrible news only when they were released and reunited with their relatives - including their older brother Yahel, 18, who was volunteering in the north of Israel when the massacre took place.
"The dream had been shattered," he said at the time in a conversation with 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", he said. "And that was a terribly emotional and traumatic moment for them."
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עלמה אור נעם אור
עלמה אור נעם אור
Noam and Alma Or
Besorai was also interviewed by the British "Guardian" and said that Noam and Alma did not know about the kidnapping of their father either until they were released. Only when the two siblings were released did their wider family learn about the horror the family experienced in the terrorist attack by Hamas. According to Besorai, the siblings said that they had been sheltering in a safe room with their parents on the morning of Black Saturday: “When Hamas terrorists burned their house to force them out of the safe room, the kids jumped from the window and tried to hide in a different place but the terrorists found them and took them to Gaza in a stolen car from the kibbutz. They put Noam in the trunk and my niece in the front with eight other Hamas terrorists,” Besorai added.
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מציינים את יום הולדתו של השבוי דרור אור בכיכר החטופים בתל אביב
מציינים את יום הולדתו של השבוי דרור אור בכיכר החטופים בתל אביב
The picture of Alma Or's father at the Hostage Square in Tel Aviv
(Photo: Oz Moalem)
In the interviews he gave, Besorai said that according to their testimony, Noam and Alma were not kept in a tunnel but were confined to a single room in a house with one other woman hostage. Their father was not kept with them. Besorai emphasized that the time in captivity was "terrible" for them and that although they were not kept underground, “there were other things that happened that made the experience difficult, very difficult.” The uncle did not want to elaborate on the teenagers’ plight to not upset and add to the burden of families with loved ones still held hostage.
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