Israeli father sobs as he describes guilt after wife, daughters were taken by Hamas

A grief-stricken Israeli father whose wife, two young children, and mother-in-law were taken hostage by Hamas described his overwhelming guilt — and concern that his loved ones are out there alive and asking themselves, “Why is daddy not coming?”

Yoni Asher returned to his mother-in-law’s home in southern Israel after Hamas closed in on Oct. 7 to learn that his family, including his daughters Raz, 5, and Aviv, 3, had been snatched and taken away by terrorists.

“The worst thing as a father who has three girls, a wife, and two little babies — is the guilt. It’s this guilt,” he told CNN.

“I’m thinking about them sitting there thinking if they’re alive, ‘Why is daddy not coming?’”

The devastated father added, “And I can’t. I want to.”

Asher last spoke to his family earlier that day when his wife, Doron Asher Katz, 34, had quietly called him to let him know terrorists invaded her mother’s home in southern Israel.

The devastated father spoke of his beloved wife, declaring, “I just want her to know that I love her with all of my heart and I’m sorry.”

Asher became emotional, breaking down into tears while describing the overwhelming sense of guilt he feels being without his family — especially his two young girls, who he fears may forget him if they are gone for long.

Raz, 5, and Aviv, 3, were taken from their grandmother’s home in southern Israel.

“I’m afraid they will forget me. I’m afraid they won’t recognize me, you know, for children a day is like a month for us. I want that I’ll be in their mind like they are in my mind,” he admitted through tears.

“I have to be strong for them. I’m going through the fight of my life today. I don’t know what will happen, but today it’s living or dying. I will do anything, by any means,” he added.

Asher shared he fears his daughters may not recognize him if they return home.

The heartbroken father has previously said that he thinks he recognized his wife, daughters, and mother-in-law in a video circulating on social media showing hostages being forced into the back of a pickup truck by men with guns.

Nearly 200 people have been abducted, with about 50 more kidnapping victims being held by other “resistance factions and in other places,” Hamas officials said.

Asher previously said he recognized his family in a video shared online of hostages with Hamas terrorists.

At least 1,400 people in Israel and 2,808 in Gaza have been killed since Hamas launched its surprise attack on the Jewish state on Oct. 7, prompting Israel’s military to prepare an anticipated “integrated and coordinated attack from air, sea and land” in response.

As the war enters its tenth day, President Joe Biden is set to visit Israel on Wednesday. His trip comes as the Israel Defense Forces prepares to invade Gaza to clear out Hamas.

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