Nineteen-year-old Roni Ashel’s last text message to her mother was on October 7 at 9.27 am: “Mom, I’m okay, don’t worry about me. Love you.” The 19-year-old soldier was on duty at the Israel-Gaza border that day when she was abducted by Hamas militants, one of about 200 Israelis who were taken hostage and are now believed to be in Gaza.
In Tel Aviv, Roni’s aunt Tair remembers her niece, who “loves Taylor Swift and Maroon 5”, as she says, “So far, no one knows anything about her. We are desperate to receive any sign of life.”
So the aunt sent Roni a text message: “Well, honey, we will find you. We will get you back. Your parents love you. Your family loves you. Stay strong. We know you have high resilience. Use it now. Till we come and get you…We love you.” She hasn’t heard back. (Read more)