An Israeli mother who survived Hamas’ brutal attack is pleading for the world to help get home the children being held captive, including her youngest son’s best friend.
Hamas is believed to have taken 229 hostages during the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 surprise attack, including at least 20 kids, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Gal Piechowicz suspects 11-year-old Gal Goldstein was among those, along with three of his other family members.
“I want Gal to come back and know that the whole community and all the citizens and all the world did the best that we could to bring him back home,” Piechowicz, an Israeli mother of three, told Fox News. Kids “should never, ever, ever be a part of a political game.”
Israel declared war against Hamas after the terrorist group fired thousands of rockets out of Gaza and invaded southern Israel on Oct. 7, massacring hundreds of civilians. At least 7,900 people have been killed across both sides since the first assault.
Brown and white blindfolded teddy bears were lined up in Tel Aviv to represent the children held captive in Gaza on Wednesday. The bears appeared to be dabbed with fake blood.
“Those babies should be back home, and we should do whatever we can to echo and repeat this message and ask the whole world to come and join us with this demand,” Piechowicz said. “They are not part of this game, and they should come back home now.”
Piechowicz, an Israel native, was home in Kibbutz Dorot — seven kilometers from the Gaza-Israel border — when the sirens starting blasting on Oct. 7.
“We knew that something was very wrong,” Piechowicz said. “The amount of missiles that Hamas was shooting … we felt that something different was going on.”
Piechowicz quickly realized a major terrorist attack was underway. She texted friends to check in and started helping neighbors evacuate from their homes. The stories she heard of Hamas’ brutality horrified her.
“They took babies from their mothers’ arms,” she said. “They molested bodies. They tortured kids.”
On Oct. 8, Piechowicz fled with two of her kids to a friend’s house in Tel Aviv where she’s stayed ever since. Her oldest son joined the front lines with the army.
Piechowicz started learning more about the fate of family and friends impacted in the terrorist attacks. She initially heard six close friends, the Goldstein family, had been all been killed. Her youngest son Ron was best friends with Gal, one of the kids.
She learned three days later that Gal, 11, two of his siblings and their mother were suspected to have been kidnapped by Hamas and still alive. The father and eldest child, however, were killed, she said.
Piechowicz said their two families were very close. She reminisced about Gal and Ron having sleepovers at each other’s houses and showing up late in the evenings just to hang out.
“Gal is just the funniest kid ever,” she said. “He’s a quiet leader, a very special kid. We miss him very much, and we really want him back.”
But Piechowicz said she loves all the Goldstein kids. She described Gal’s sister, Agam, another suspected Hamas captive, as the “queen of the universe.”
“She has the whole future in front of her, and it will be a great one because she’s so smart and so powerful,” Piechowicz said. “To think that this life will be changed forever and she will come back different is heartbreaking.”
“Nothing is preparing you for this situation in life. I don’t know how I feel,” Piechowicz said. “I feel like I’m trying to do my best so my kids will know that if something would have happened to them, I would have wanted everyone that has even a bit of power or ability to fight for them.”