International

Israeli family marks hostage’s ninth birthday with call for solidarity

Tel Aviv, Oct 25. Ohad Monder-Zikri’s family “celebrated” his ninth birthday on Monday by asking people to hang a balloon in solidarity with the Israeli hostages.

Ohad, who lives in Kfar Saba, was kidnapped along with his mother, Keren, on October 7 while visiting his grandparents in Kibbutz Nir Oz. The grandparents were also abducted while an uncle was killed in the attack.

Keren’s partner, Avi Zikri, in collaboration with Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Herzog, created a digital greeting book for Ohad in which children and adults from all over the world can send birthday greetings. They hope to get one million greetings, and for Hamas to be pressured by public awareness.

The family also held a birthday party at the Hamed Etzion special education school in Bnei Brak where Keren works as a teacher.

Ohad’s favourite soccer team, Hapoel Beersheva, showed solidarity with their young fan.

“At the request of the family, the team’s coach and players rallied and wished the fan a happy birthday, hoping that he would see it as soon as possible,” the team said.

“In addition, we opened our morning practice with a prayer and a call for his speedy return. We all wish that [Ohad] and his family will soon return safe and sound.” Israel Defence Forces Spokesperson Rear Adm Daniel Hagari said on Monday that it has so far confirmed 222 people kidnapped. (ANI/TPS)

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