Breaking: Ohad is free!

by Frederic Friedel
11/24/2023 – We told you about Ohad Munder-Zichri, who was abducted by Hamas from the kibbutz of Nir Oz, where he was visiting his grandparents. That was one day before his 9th birthday. Since then, he has spent 48 days in the Hamas tunnels in Gaza, together with more than 200 hostages taken during the devastating Oct. 7 incursion. We have just seen in the news that today (November 24, late evening) Ohad has been set free!! We rejoice for this young chess talent.

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As we reported seven weeks ago, instead of celebrating at home with his family and friends, Ohad was abducted and taken to a hiding place somewhere in Gaza, one of more than 200 hostages held by Hamas since the militants’ devastating Oct. 7 incursion.

This is the invitation Ohad had sent to his friends to celebrate with him over the weekend – in his home in Tel Aviv.

The fourth-grader from the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba was nabbed along with his mother and grandparents during a holiday visit to his grandparents’ kibbutz of Nir Oz along the border with Gaza.

Ohad’s beloved uncle was killed in the attack. The boy, his mom and grandparents disappeared with the only thread of information about them coming from a cellphone signal traced to Gaza.

More than 200 hostages have been held in the Hamas tunnels for over a month. Negotiations between Israel and Hamas led to an agreement that thirty hostages would be released, the first in a batch of 13. On Friday evening we learned that among the thirteen abductees released in stage one of the Israel-Hamas hostage deal are Ohad, his mother Keren Munder and his grandmother Ruth Munder.

Our poignant front page photo (published by The Sun, UK Edition) shows Ohad, his mother and his grandmother being released by Hamas. As we write, they have crossed from Gaza to Egypt to Israel, and are now safe on native soil. And here is video of Ohad hugging his father for the first time in seven weeks.

Welcome back to life, Ohad!

Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.


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