TZ Student Studying In Israel Narrowly Escaped Being Kidnapped By Hamas As His 2 Countrymen Fell Victim

“If I was not on the farm that morning, I would be one of the missing,” Ezekiel Kitiku told the BBC from southern Israel.

Two of his compatriots - Joshua Loitu Mollel and Clemence Felix Mtenga - were among more than 230 people taken as hostages to the Gaza Strip, which is under the control of Hamas, proscribed as a terrorist group in the UK and other countries.
The three students had landed in Israel in September, excited to start their work as agricultural interns for the next 11 months.


Since their arrival, Ezekiel Kitiku and Mr Mtenga had been living on Kibbutz Nir Oz and working at a dairy farm in the afternoons. Their friend Mr Mollel was staying and working about 30km (18 miles) away at Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Both kibbutzes have a population of several hundred people and are very near Gaza.

“That week the new timetable was prepared and my name was mentioned to work on the nightshifts, but Clemence remained on afternoon shifts,” Mr Kitiku told the BBC. Mr Mollel was on day shifts at a different farm.

At around 01:00 on 7 October, Mr Kitiku says he set off in the dark on his bike and rode five minutes to the farm to start his shift.

He spent the early hours of that morning milking cows and carrying out veterinary duties. By 06:00, as the sun started to rise, he was tending to cattle inside a shed.

Thirty minutes later he heard a huge explosion. This was when Hamas began to fire rockets from Gaza.

"When I heard the noise, I remembered that we had been told that if we hear the sound of shooting or bombs we should go to the shelter, so that’s what I did.

“I was so scared. It was my first time to hear a noise like this.”


As he headed to the shelter, he noticed thick smoke and orange flames billowing from near his kibbutz, so he immediately contacted both of his friends.

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Israel imports alot of agricultural workers on short term visas to work on the farms taking care of crops and animals. Infact many agricultural workers from Thailand were also abducted.

“Israel says 54 Thai nationals being held hostage by Hamas | Israel-Hamas war | The Guardian” Israel says 54 Thai nationals being held hostage by Hamas | Israel-Hamas war | The Guardian