ALL ISRAEL NEWS recently spoke with Yoni Asher, whose wife and two daughters were taken captive by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7
Asher remembers the moment he saw a video released by Hamas that showed his wife and his daughters being abducted. He said he had been in communication with his wife all morning, after hearing that Hamas terrorists had invaded Kibbutz Nir Oz, the community where his mother-in-law lived. After attempting unsuccessfully to reach his wife Doron a final time, he checked her mobile phone location on his computer.
The phone tracking showed her phone was in Khan Younis.
After the Hamas video was posted, Asher understood that his worst fears had come true: His wife and daughters had been kidnapped by Hamas and were in Gaza.
At that point, Asher became an advocate for all of the hostages. He conducted tens of interviews with the Israeli and foreign press. He traveled to Europe and the United States, speaking to government representatives and Jewish communities in the diaspora and to anyone who might help.
Asher became a leading activist for hostage families, joined the Hostages and Missing Families Forum and pleaded for the international community to do anything they could to have Hamas release the captives.
At the end of November, after 49 days in captivity, Asher received the life-changing news that his wife and daughters were on the list of hostages to be released and brought back to Israel.
After their release, Asher shared their struggles at readjusting to life after the horrific experience in captivity. He said his wife and daughters still do not sleep well.
His main focus now is to help Doron and his daughters recover from the trauma they endured and ensure a safe future for his family.
“Since my family got back, I haven’t had much time to, so, because a lot of the attention and resources are going to my family. My time is to be with them and recovering them, yet, this is something that is part of me right now,” Asher told ALL ISRAEL NEWS. “I can’t separate this subject from my life.”
While Asher is happy that his family was released, he continues his advocacy on behalf of the remaining hostages and says he continues to receive many invitations to speak at events.
“I can’t do it all. What I can do is come and speak out for them, for my people.”
Until they are also freed, he said, he won’t truly be able to celebrate.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.