Man searching for 10 family members kidnapped from kibbutz in southern Israel

A man who grew up in a kibbutz along the border of Gaza is searching for nearly a dozen family members after one of the worst attacks by Hamas last weekend.

Ten family members kidnapped from Be’eri kibbutz in southern Israel are all relatives of human rights worker Yotam Kipnis.

“It’s like a limbo I don’t know where they are, if they are alive or dead and if they are alive, they’re probably held hostage in Gaza” Kipnis said.

Kipnis grew up on the kibbutz where his parents still live — they are among the missing.

Their house was burned and their kibbutz was one of the first locations targeted Saturday morning by Hamas.

“I called my mother in 8:30 in the morning and she told me the situation was horrible, she was hearing gunshots outside her windows,” Kipnis said. “I did call her once again at 10 o’clock and there was no answer.”

His father Tari is 65 with a severe nerve disease that requires daily medication, prompting Kipnis to appeal to the Red Cross for help.

“Because even if he is alive and getting treated reasonably, he can’t keep on living much longer unless he has his medication,” Kipnis said.

His father’s caretaker Paul Castelvi was also kidnapped and then his body was found.

“It kind of breaks me to hear about his death, it was only confirmed today,” Kipnis said.

And his mother Lilach is a psychotherapist who wrote a book to help children deal with trauma.

“She is very mentally strong woman,” he said.

It’s the strength that he is calling on as he keeps a vigil for his parents, his young cousins and his relatives.

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