“I hope the world does not forget that he is still captive,” says Kathpress in the letter from Naveh Shoham, who himself was kidnapped to Gaza in the attack on the Israeli Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7th and after 50 days been released from captivity.
- Also read: Israel frees 2 hostages – Hamas reports many deaths in Rafah
Naveh’s father Tal Shoham, whose fate is uncertain, is an Austrian-Israeli citizen. According to previous media reports, the foreign policy special advisor to Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP), Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal, is trying to free 38-year-old Shoham.
“I also pray every day”
Naveh particularly highlighted Pope Francis’ support for the hostage rescue. At the beginning of February, the pontiff promised his help to his “Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel”, condemned the Hamas attacks and once again reminded people of the remaining hostages. “I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for that,” said the boy – also for the fact that Francis assured him that he was praying for his release.
“I also pray every day. We have a small table in our house that we call our ‘table of hope’. Here we light candles and pray for the well-being and release of my father,” said the eight-year-old, who concluded : “You are a great man. Please continue to work for the release of our families and for peace.”
“I’m very worried”
In his letter, Naveh reported on his experiences as a hostage. Given the uncertainty about his father’s fate, his heart aches with sadness. “I miss my father and I’m very worried about him,” said the boy. He also misses his grandfather very much, who was murdered in the attack, as were his aunt, his disabled uncle and his carer. Naveh himself was released along with his mother, grandmother, aunt and cousin.
In the major attack on Israel by the terrorist group Hamas on October 7, over 1,200 people were murdered and 253 were kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. Of these, 105 have since been released. The Israeli security forces freed two male hostages in Rafah on Monday night; a female soldier had already been freed at the end of October. According to Israeli sources, dozens of the remaining hostages are already dead.
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