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Gaza War Diary: 19 FEBRUARY 2024

Chances are that you’ve seen photos of Israel’s most famous hostages, the Bibas family, 11 month-old Kfir, four-year-old Ariel, and their parents, Shirel and Yarden Bibas, who were taken from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz by Hamas terrorists. The children, striking little redheads, were seen in footage as their distraught mother held the children in her arms as she was forcibly transported into Gaza on October 7. This footage, outside Gaza, has been followed by later videos released today of the mother and the two children being held inside Gaza, all of them alive.

During the first hostage exchanges, when Israel agreed to a ceasefire and the release of jailed murderers and other Hamas criminals, it was in exchange for the release of kidnapped women and children. Only at the very last exchange did Hamas declare that Shirel Bibas and her children were dead. Not only that, but they filmed Yarden Bibas, the kidnapped father, as Hamas terrorists gleefully informed him of this news.

I remember that, that obscene, graituitous cruelty, whenever I see photos of the bombed out, destroyed place that was once a thriving community of hotels, and shopping centers, and marketplaces and mosques and is now barefoot children and their mothers tramping through the mud eating chicken feed and fleeing from bombs. I remember it when I see the daily head count of dead terrorists and their families, brought about by their own viciousness and inhumanity.

 The Bibas family weren’t the only ones. Let us never forget what happened to the lovely American/Israeli Siman Tov family of Nir Oz: Tamar Kedem Siman Tov; her husband, Yonatan (Johnny); her mother-in-law Carol Siman Tov; two 6 year-old twin daughters, Shahar and Arbel; and son Omer, aged 4, whom Hamas tortured for hours then murdered. Tamar, only 35, reportedly sent friends a message on WhatsApp on October 7 saying, “Hi guys, we got into the shelter in our house, we’re all going (sic) okay.” But later, heartbreakingly, Jonathan (Johnny) texted his sister Ranae Butler, who lives in Israel: “They’re here. They’re burning us. We’re suffocating.” All were eventually gunned down as Hamas terrorists entered their shelter and committed acts of unspeakable cruelty. One can only imagine if they killed the children in front of the parents , or made the children watch their parents die — their terror and anguish.

If indeed Shirel Bibas, this lovely mother and her two beautiful, innocent little boys are no longer alive, every decent person in the world should be horrified and enraged, as they should have been but weren’t and still aren’t over the Siman Tov family. When you do a search on Google for “families murdered by Hamas” the search engine will only show you Gazan families killed by Israelis.  

Israelis had great sympathy for the Gazans. Especially the inhabitants of the Kibbutzim that were their neighbors. They hired them to ease their financial plight. They drove their sick children for free medical care in Israeli hospitals. They fought politically to have peace and prosperity for the Gazans. These kind people are forever changed, hardened, their soft hearts – and our own – turned to stone as we watch the Gazans across the border reaping their just rewards for the “flood” they started with so much cruelty and so much hate.

Rafah is full of terrorists who committed these acts. This war isn’t going to stop until all of them are dead or captured. And if this necessitates the death of noncombatants who are being used as human shields, well, the Siman Tov family, and the Bibas family were non combatants, were they not?

No one in Israel is ready yet to accept that the Bibas family is no longer alive. This is the one time that we, instead of our enemies, declare that we want proof. As long as there is a flicker of hope that we may see Shirel and Yarden and a little Ariel and baby Kfir, we will hold on to it and pray, pray, pray for a miracle.

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7 comments on “Gaza War Diary: 19 FEBRUARY 2024”

  1. Sylvia Knoop

    All hostages must be returned ! I can not understand why the world is not demanding this. Also nobody should be used as a human shield, can not understand how the world also does not condem this. Hamas is the purest kind EVIL and again I do not see why the world cant see. this and cant choose the side of the light, hard and clear. But I guess thats and easy one isn’t it…

    • KD

      The thing is, there have been people from different nationalities killed and / or taken hostage. One report said that nine British citizens were killed and seven were missing. Rishi Sunak (the British PM) apparently met with two families who had people being held hostage.


      What did he do after that . . . ???

      Why wasn’t this considered a casus belli right around the world? Is is all right now to go around murdering British citizens and taking them hostage? And what about the Yanks? Have they no moral courage? Does no one believe in anything any more?

      In a morally sane world, every nation who had citizens taken or murdered by ham ass would be lining up to send troops and materiel to Israel, to help wipe the enemy of humanity from the face of the earth.

      Where is Winston Churchill when you need him?

    • Daveed

      There are no innocent lives on the Palestinian side, above the age of six.
      There are no lives on the Israeli side that are not innocent.
      Your comment is not helpful.

  2. Ellen Calderon

    We Jews in America pray for all the captives and let them all be alive.

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