On the dwelling of Yakov and Liora Argamani, Oct. 12 has lengthy been a day for celebrating their daughter’s birthday. This 12 months, although, it’s a day of sorrow for the Argamanis, after their daughter, Noa, now 26, was seen on video being kidnapped Saturday from a music competition by Hamas assailants.
Her dad and mom held Noa’s birthday dinner of their dwelling in Be’er Sheva, in southern Israel, with cake and two empty chairs on the eating desk. One was for his or her daughter, and one was for her boyfriend, Avinatan Or, who was kidnapped together with her.
“We’re ready at dwelling to have fun your birthday,” Ms. Argamani mentioned in a current interview, hoping her daughter might one way or the other obtain the message. Only some nights earlier, she had sat on the similar desk together with her daughter and Mr. Or, she mentioned, simply earlier than they went to the competition close to Re’im in Israel, three miles from the border with Gaza.
Israeli authorities estimate that 260 individuals on the competition died within the Hamas assault. Hours after the assault started, pals confirmed Ms. Argamani a video that had surfaced on-line of her daughter being forcefully taken away on a motorbike by Hamas attackers. Mr. Or can be seen within the video, surrounded by males holding his wrist and pinning his arm behind his again.
For Ms. Argamani, who’s 61 and battling mind most cancers, the information was tough to simply accept: “Having my daughter taken away, it provides to the ache.”
Within the neighborhood the place Noa Argamani grew up, the neighborhood was grieving. A few of her pals have been among the many 3,500 individuals on the Nova Pageant. Many individuals who have been at first regarded as lacking within the hours after the assault have now been confirmed lifeless.
Within the hours earlier than the Argamanis’ deliberate birthday gathering, the neighborhood realized that considered one of Noa Argamani’s pals, Ori Tchernichovsky, had been killed within the assault.
One of many youthful Ms. Argamani’s oldest pals, Shlomit Marciano, didn’t go to the competition. “It’s unhappy that the date of her birthday, and even the precise hour we have been planning on doing one thing for her, is popping into the hour of the funeral,” Ms. Marciano mentioned.
Liora Argamani, who’s from the Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan, appealed to China’s high chief, Xi Jinping, for assist in liberating her daughter. China has come underneath strain from the United States and Europe for not condemning the violent attacks by Hamas.
On Thursday, China’s overseas ministry confirmed that three Chinese language residents had been killed and several other others injured throughout the violence. Additionally they mentioned two Chinese language residents have been nonetheless lacking.
“Please attempt to assist us,” Ms. Argamani mentioned, interesting to Mr. Xi, “and we are going to categorical our gratitude.”
Nadav Gavrielov contributed reporting. Li You contributed analysis.