BREAKING: An 18-year-old Dutchman is being held hostage in the Gaza Strip

An 18-year-old Dutchman is one of 203 reported hostages being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The man, Ofir Engel, who some outlets are reporting is 17 years old, was visiting his girlfriend when he was kidnapped from the Kibbutz Be-eri, reports the NOS.


Ofir reportedly called his father at 6 AM on Saturday morning to tell him alarms were going off. He, his girlfriend, and his girlfriend’s family were sheltering inside a safe room.

Around 1:30 PM, Ofir’s family lost contact with him.

“There were a few terrorists with guns that went inside their house; they [were] trying to open the safe room, and they succeeded,” Ofir’s aunt, Yael Engel Lichi, told The Jewish Chronicle.

Ofir, his girlfriend, and her family were removed from the safe room. The assailants allegedly shot the family’s dog and kidnapped Ofir and his girlfriend’s father.

“I don’t have words to describe, not because I don’t know good English…but also in Hebrew, we don’t have words in human language to describe the horror,” Yael told The Jewish Chronicle.

Dutch response

The Israeli embassy in The Hague is calling for the release of the man and all the other hostages. Outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte earlier also called for all innocent hostages to be released.

The embassy remains in contact with the man’s family.

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Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam has over six years experience writing about life in the Netherlands and leads the content team at DutchReview. She originally came to the Netherlands to study in 2016 and now holds a BA (Hons.) in Arts, a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and (almost) a Masters in Teaching. She loves to write about settling into life in the Netherlands, her city of Utrecht, learning Dutch, and jobs in the Netherlands — and she still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike (she's learning!).


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