The devastated cousin of the boys has shared heartwrenching home footage of nine-month-old Kfir and four-year-old Ariel, who are thought to be being held in custody in the ruins of Gaza.
Yifat Zailer, 37, from Israel, said that six of her relatives had been taken from their home in Nir Oz kibbutz in southern Israel last Saturday.
She shared footage of Ariel blowing out candles on his fourth birthday, Kfir giggling and gurgling at the camera, with the video captioned “This is my family”.
More home video shows the boys driving a toy dump truck and walking alongside their parents and grandparents before they were devastatingly snatched away during the Hamas raid.
A video shared with Zailer that Reuters has seen but not verified appears to show Zailer’s cousin and two children being led away by armed men.
“Time is rushing,” said Zailer, who has her own baby close in age to her cousin’s. “There’s a nine-month-old baby and a four-year-old child. And my aunt has Parkinson’s disease.”
“I don’t know if the baby was fed,” she said, tearing up. “I don’t know if he got his diaper... I really, I want to go back to Friday. You know, I want to close my eyes, and this was all a nightmare.
“I want them back. We all want our family back.”
As well as the two young children, who were named at a press conference held by children of British-Israeli hostages on Thursday, Yifat’s aunt Shiri Silberman-Bibas, 30, Shiri’s 37-year-old husband Yarden and her parents, Yosi and Margit Silberman, are also missing.
Yifat captioned the footage: “This is my family. I want you to hear Kfir’s beautiful laughter and see Ariel’s beautiful smile.“Please distribute and share this as much as possible so that it reaches every mother and father in the world who still thinks that this disaster that happened to us is justified.”
Israeli officials have already ordered an estimated 1.1 million people living in north Gaza to leave their homes and move south ahead of an expected ground invasion by their forces massed at the border.
The IDF has since entered Gaza to carry out limited operations in search of more than 100 civilians and soldiers captured by Hamas during the brutal and unexpected 7 October attacks, which killed more than 1,300.
“There is a grave danger that what we are witnessing may be a repeat of the 1948 Nakba, and the 1967 Naksa, yet on a larger scale. The international community must do everything to stop this from happening again,” said Ms Albanese in a statement on Saturday.
And she added: “Israel has already carried out mass ethnic cleansing of Palestinians under the fog of war.
“Again, in the name of self-defence, Israel is seeking to justify what would amount to ethnic cleansing.”
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