Video: First photos of those released from Hamas captivity/official website
"I want Bella to wait for Mia and Gabriella when they come home," Moshe Leimberg said. Mia, his 17-year-old daughter, and Gabriella, his wife, were abducted by Hamas on October 7. The mother and daughter were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nir-Yitzhak, along with Gabriella's two brothers, Fernando and Clara Merman, and with Luis Hare, Clara's boyfriend. Clara was released alongside Mia and Gabriella, while Fernando and Luis remained in captivity.
Bella, the family's beloved dog, was kidnapped alongside Mia. Under the great pressure of the first few days after the horrors of Black Sabbath, it was unclear what had happened to the dog Bella, and Moshe made efforts to locate her so that she would wait for his daughter when she returned from captivity. Today, 53 days after she was kidnapped, Mia was filmed coming out of captivity - with her beloved dog, who was kidnapped with her on the leash.
Moshe Leimberg, his wife Gabriella and daughter Mia together with their dog Bella./Courtesy of the family
Bella, a Shitzu dog, came to the Leimberg family home from Jerusalem five years ago. The family then returned from a long stay abroad and Moshe and Gabriella promised Mia that she would get a dog. "When we arrived at the habitat I saw a lonely little puppy, I immediately knew which Mia would choose, and so it was; Mia fell in love with her. Since then Bella has been with us. We are connected to her and she is connected to us," Moshe said.
On Friday, October 6, Gabriella and Mia went to a family birthday party in Beersheba, with Bella with them. In the evening they decided to spend the night at the home of Clara and her partner Luis in Nir Yitzhak, and in the morning to get up and return to Jerusalem. Fernando, who came from Kfar Saba, also went to his sister's house in Nir Yitzhak. All five were abducted to Gaza by the terrorists.
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The dog Bella/Courtesy of the family
After Black Sabbath, the family even mistakenly believed that the dog had been adopted by a woman, out of the rubble. "Mia's father remains shattered, he is very ill," the letter to the woman read. "He is tormented and misses his wife, his daughter and Bella who is with you. A dog who has also been traumatized and needs her natural place and her owner who loves her so much and she him. We believe Bella was given to you during the chaos, when there wasn't enough control over the dogs left behind, but now that we're sure Bella is alive and well with you, we appeal to your heart. No one will be angry when you bring Bella back, but quite the opposite. You will do a great mitzvah and do the right thing. We believe that your intention was good and that you acted out of compassion when you adopted her, but Bella is sorely missed by the owner who was left alone and no description would describe the magnitude of his longing for Bella. You can give him some light in the darkness he's in. Please take the reins into your own hands, you can change a person's life. Use your best judgment and contact me and together we will give him Bella back."
- More on the subject:
- Iron Sword War
- Gaza War
- Nir Yitzhak