Family from October 7 massacre footage live-streamed by Hamas share their story in London

Horrified viewers online watched Koren Taasa, 13, and Shay, nine, witness their father’s murder


Sabine and Shay Taasa have relived the horror of the October 7 attack

Two young Israeli brothers shown in Hamas footage moments after their father was murdered have shared their story of October 7 on a visit to London with their mother in an effort to persuade those who would play down the terror attack of the true horror of what they experienced.

Koren Taasa, now 13, and his little brother Shay, now nine, appeared in video broadcast by the terrorists that was watched across the world.

Their father Gil, 46, and their eldest brother, Or, 17, were both killed on October 7. Sabine, their grieving mother, who travelled to London with her sons, said: “We have to explain to the world what happened to us”.

When Sabine last saw Or, it was a normal Shabbat morning; every week the teenager went to Zikim Beach, the southernmost beach in the country located just 5km from Gaza, to fish, swim and surf with his two best friends. All three boys were murdered that morning when over 100 heavily armed terrorists emerged out of the sea.

In her final phone call with Or, Sabine could hear shooting and men shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

“He said he was in a safety room at Zikim, but there aren't any safety rooms there, so I realised he meant a toilet on the beach. I told him if something happens, he must lie on the floor. At that point, I was sure it was just a rocket attack.” Or was executed with six shots to the head.

The murder was live-streamed on social media via Hamas, which proudly shared footage captured on its GoPro cameras, and Sabine’s friends across Israel and Europe saw the clip. Her phone was flooded with calls but Netiv HaAsara, her moshav in the north-west Negev, was simultaneously hit with a cyber-attack so she could not answer them.

While Or was killed at the beach, his father, Gil would die sacrificing himself to save his other children.

The father-of-four served in an elite Israeli security unit before becoming a firefighter and always feared a terror attack.

Koren and Shay – whose parents had separated a year earlier – were staying with their father on the night of 6 October, while Sabine was in her home next door with their other brother, Zohar, 15.

As they waited in their safe room, Zohar heard terrorists outside and said: "Mama I think we have terrorists outside the house.”

“He saved my life when he said that,” Sabine recalled, explaining that she would have left the house to fetch her children from her husband if it hadn’t been for Zohar’s warning. Three Hamas terrorists were in their garden.

Moments later she recognised the shots of her husband's gun followed by rapid Kalashnikov fire.

While Sabine and Zohar hid in their safe room, unable to connect with the outside world, a few hundred metres away, the younger brothers and their father were running to an outside shelter – an open-sided concrete structure.

With the two boys in the shelter, Gil ran back to the house to fetch his phone and gun. Once back, the shooting started. The father fired at the terrorists until his bullets ran out and then a grenade was lobbed into the shelter.

Realising that the impact would kill them all if it was not absorbed, Gil told his sons: “I love you, I’m not afraid to die. As soon as you can, you need to run to your mother’s house.”

In a final act of sacrifice, he picked up the grenade, stepped outside the shelter and thrust it into his stomach.

In the footage seen around the world, Gil fell to the floor and the boys emerge bloodied. One asked despairingly, “Why am I alive?”

After the explosion, the boys lost their hearing initially and were severely injured; Shai’s eye was hanging out of his socket and he had pieces of grenade in his chest.

The terrorists took the boys back to their father’s house where they were beaten and interrogated.

“Where is your mother and your other brothers?” they demanded.

Footage from inside the home captured the unbearable scene in which the injured boys, who had just seen their father murdered, try to communicate with Hamas.

Koren, using Google Translate, told the men, “Kill me, not my mother, and please leave my brother alone.” He hugged Shay and cleaned his blood away.

The terrorists left Koren and Shay in their father’s house and the boys were able to run to their mother and brother: “Koren carried Shay, he was almost dead,” Sabine said.

The four of them survived, but their family will never recover: “The trauma will be with them forever,” the Sabine said.

The family is now reliving its worst moments again and again in a bid to remind the world what Hamas did on October 7 and why Israel is fighting back.

“I knew that this is what the world needs to see," Sabine said of the harrowing footage, noting that some people, inexplicably, still do not believe that the atrocities documented really happened.

“If I can sit in a room with a Palestinian demonstrator and explain what happened to my family, then maybe they would understand that this is real,” she said.

“Israel does not have the time to explain what happened to us because it needs to fight Hamas, so I am here to explain… Today they want to destroy us, Israel, tomorrow it will be Egypt, and then it will be Europe.”

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