Nearly four weeks have passed since Hamas kidnapped about 240 people into Gaza – among them is 84-year-old Ditza Heiman.

When Ditza’s daughter called her on 7 October, Hamas answered the phone.

”They were shouting ’It’s Hamas, it’s Hamas’,” another daughter, Neta Heiman Mina, told the BBC.

”My sister was terrified, she hung up. I didn’t think they had taken her. I thought they had killed her.”

Ditza Heiman is being held hostage in Gaza.

She was taken from Kibbutz Nir Oz when Hamas staged its deadly attack on Israel, killing 1,400 people and taking more than 240 hostage.

Neta says she was in touch with her mother in the morning. Ditza was in her safe room and didn’t know what was happening outside.

”I don’t think she realised, or we realised, that the terrorists were at the kibbutz,” Neta said.

The last message she got from her mother was a few minutes before 10:00 local time. After that she didn’t answer her phone.

Neta later spoke to one of her mother’s neighbours, who told her that Ditza had been calling for help. He went out to see what was happening and saw her being taken away by Hamas gunmen.

”There were too many terrorists outside, they started shooting. He crawled back into his shelter. He was lucky,” Neta said.

On a Hamas Facebook page, Neta and her sister found a video that showed her mother. ”They took her. They put her in a car. When we found the video, we knew she was alive.”

Ditza Heiman had lived all her adult life in Nir Oz. A social worker who had only stopped working a few years ago, she has 12 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and ”so many more children who grew up with her and consider her to be family”.

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