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Relatives of Israeli Bedouins kidnapped by Hamas plead for France's help

Relatives of Israeli Bedouins kidnapped by Hamas Oct. 7 are hoping to raise international awareness of their plight.
Relatives of Israeli-Bedouins kidnapped in Gaza call on world leader to assist the campaign for their release, Dec. 14, 2023.

PARIS — Israel's Bedouin community received terrible news Friday evening. Samer Fuad al-Talalka, a 24-year-old abducted from kibbutz Nir Am on Oct. 7, was killed together with two other hostages in the northern Gaza neighborhood of Shujaiya when Israeli soldiers mistook them for Hamas attackers. It is unclear yet whether the three had escaped their captors or were abandoned by them because of the heavy fighting in the area. 

The incident took place hours after Samer's father came back to Israel from Paris, where he and other relatives of Bedouin hostages had campaigned for their release. The following article is from Al-Monitor’s encounter with the group on Thursday, one day before his family received the news on Samer's death.    

"God does not listen to those who do not speak up," Bedouin Israeli Noaf Alzyadana told Al-Monitor, quoting an Arab proverb. He explained that he came to France in hope of making people understand what he, his family and his tribe have been going through for the past two and a half months, waiting for some sign of life from his brother Yosef and his nephew Hamzah, both held hostage in the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7.

Noaf came to Paris with three other members of the Bedouin community living in the south of Israel, all relatives of Bedouin Israelis held in the Gaza Strip. During their assault, Hamas attackers did not distinguish between Hebrew and Arab speakers or between Jews and Muslims. Yosef and his son Hamzah were taken from kibbutz Hulit, where they worked in agriculture, together with Yosef's two younger children Bilal and Aisha. The youngest, Bilal, and Aisha were freed on Dec. 2 as part of the hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas. Yosef and Hamzah were left behind. The third Bedouin held in Gaza was not kidnapped on Oct. 7 but has been held since 2015.

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