'Girls we left behind in Gaza asked us to fight for them'

Three months after being released from Hamas captivity, Chen Goldstein-Almog continues to fight for the release of all remaining hostages, and dismisses claims that the price of a deal is too high: 'What is happening in Gaza, is that reasonable?'

Chen Goldstein-Almog and her three children, Agam, Tal and Gal, were released from Hamas captivity over three months ago. When they were abducted on October 7, husband and father Nadav, and their oldest daughter and sister Yam were killed. In an interview with Ynet, Chen shared the request she received from the women she left behind before leaving the Gaza Strip with her children. "The girls we left behind asked us to fight for them, not to forget them, to attend protests, to do everything we can for them, and that their voices will be heard. We need to do everything so that all the captives will be here."
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Chen and her three children were released by Hamas terrorists 51 days after being abducted from Kibbutz Kfar Aza. They are currently living in a hotel and still do not know what the future holds for them. "We visit the kibbutz from time to time, to take things from home or to meet people there," she said. "Our home is very charged with memories - the murder of Nadav and Yam took place in our home, in our safe room. I still don't know if we will return to live there. There are discussions with the children about returning, moving to Kibbutz Ruhama, which is in our regional council. We are trying to create some routine within our new reality."
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משפחת גולדשטיין-אלמוג באירוע לחנוכה של חברי קיבוץ כפר עזה בשפיים
משפחת גולדשטיין-אלמוג באירוע לחנוכה של חברי קיבוץ כפר עזה בשפיים
Goldstein-Almog family speaking out for the captives
(Photo: Dana Koppel)
She said that her children "are studying in a nearby school. It seems that they are very happy, their lives are quite full with friends, studies and activities. They have many social activities and, overall, their spirits seem good. The children remember what happened, and we think about the hostages that are still there. They remember things they did with those who were with us there, and they are very concerned for them."
"We went through something very complex, undoubtedly it connects and unites us as a family that has gone through this difficult experience together. It is reasonable to assume that, over time, we may see more of the effects of these events. My daughter Agam and I felt that we were part of something very big when we were in Gaza, that there may be people who wanted to exchange places with us in terms of our closeness or the conversations we sometimes had with our captors," she said.
Chen emphasized that there must be another deal to release the hostages. "This is something that needs to happen as soon as possible. The situation there is unbearable, with daily life-threatening circumstances. Each passing day is a nightmare. I don't know what the situation is like for the people we were with. They need to be released, and everything possible must be done to ensure their return to their families and homes," she said.
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תיעוד מחזרתם של משפחת גולדשטיין-אלמוג משבי חמאס
תיעוד מחזרתם של משפחת גולדשטיין-אלמוג משבי חמאס
Goldstein-Almog boys after being released
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
"It is crucial to me that the hostages still there are given top priority, that they understand the daily danger and the ongoing war. I would rather hear less about whether the price is too high or too low, or if it's reasonable or not. Because what is happening in Gaza, is that reasonable? Unreasonable? Is there a price to be paid by the people there? Everything should be done to secure their release, allowing them to reunite with their families," she told Ynet.
Her own circle will not be able to fully close until everyone returns. "We already yearn to embrace those we were with and spent time with there. We think about them a lot and, naturally, we want them to be reunited with their families. We truly long to embrace them and, during captivity, we said we would meet after they're released. We think about them every day, every moment. I hope that the country is also making every effort for their swift and urgent release. I wish for a deal to be reached as soon as possible. They have already been there for five months, and the emotions are so difficult, feelings of abandonment."
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