Freed Gaza hostage, nine, gets to live his Wembley dream

Ohad Munder was in captivity for 49 days


Ohad Munder with the Liverpool football scarf and black trilby hat, the only surviving possessions of his uncle, Roi Munder, who was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7

A child who spent his ninth birthday in captivity in Gaza has been to England to see his favourite football club, Liverpool, play at Wembley.

Former hostage Ohad Munder was released from captivity after 49 days as part of an exchange for Palestinian prisoners in the first ceasefire deal brokered by Qatar and the USA.

He was held with his mum, Keren, 54, and grandfather, Avraham Munder, who remains in captivity.

This week, members of the Munder family met congregants of the Liberal Synagogue Elstree (TLSE) while on a visit to the UK. The synagogue is raising awareness of the plight of Avraham Munder, who recently turned 79 in captivity, as part of the Board of Deputies’ “Adopt a Hostage” scheme.

Speaking about the family's ordeal on October 7 during her trip to the UK, organised by the Israeli Liverpool FC fan club, Keren said: “We were lucky they didn't shoot as they kicked the door in. In what world would a person count themselves lucky for getting abducted without being shot?”

The Munder family’s life was turned upside down on October 7 when Keren’s brother, Roi, 50, was among the 1,200 victims slaughtered by Hamas terrorists.

Meanwhile, Keren, Ohad and Keren’s mother, Ruti, were abducted from the family home on Kibbutz Nir Oz.

Avraham fought to hold the door shut against the terrorists as they tried to break in. He was injured and taken away separately.

Avraham’s family had hoped he was safe in Israel until they heard from other ex-hostages who said they had seen him in the tunnels.

All but two of the family’s belongings were destroyed on October 7.

Keren explained: “Only two of my family’s things remained completely intact; my late brother’s beloved hat that he would always wear … and his Liverpool FC scarf.”

The family posed for pictures with the scarf and hat at the football match.

Keren said: “Ohad was so happy when Liverpool won 1-0 in the [Carabao] cup final against Chelsea. It was very special to be at Wembley. We also met Israeli international and Tottenham striker Manor Soloman. After everything Ohad has gone through, these were dreams come true for him.”

Ohad, his mum and Ruti were held prisoner in a civilian house for two weeks and then transferred to Nasser Hospital in Gaza, where they were held with seven others in an examination room.

The family are now clinging to the hope that Avraham, who is not well, might be released as part of new negotiations of a ceasefire deal.

Rabbi Gershon Silins of the Liberal Synagogue, Elstree, who recently paid a solidarity visit to Kibbutz Nir Oz, said: “Avraham’s photo occupies a chair in the sanctuary of the Liberal Synagogue Elstree, waiting there for his release. The courage and sadness that I saw in the family was deeply moving. Keren‘s brother was murdered in the massacre, so even having been released, the trauma does not end.

“They stand as witnesses to the reality of what happened on October 7, a crime and massacre which none of us can, or should, ever forget.”

Please join the Borehamwood community for their weekly peaceful vigil for the hostages on March 1 at 9.30-9.45am. You will hear about hostages Alex Danzig, 76, and Omer Wenkert, 22, who are still held in captivity in Gaza.

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