A man whose wife and three children are being held hostage by Hamas has told Newstalk he has kept his daughter’s birthday cake in the fridge for three weeks in the hope they will return.
Avichai Brodutch was not home on October 7th when his wife texted him to say somebody was breaking into their house.
When he arrived home, his wife Hagar and three children, aged 10, eight and four-years-old, were gone.
He told Newstalk Breakfast he assumed his family had been killed by Hamas at first.
“But the day after - on Sunday - I found out somebody had seen them outside of our home,” he said.
“They were alive and taken to Gaza.
“When I heard the news, I felt like I got my life again, knowing my family are alive.
“I’m still living on that hope.”
The Brodutch family had just celebrated 10-year-old Ofri’s birthday the night before and she was supposed to have a party with friends on the day of the attack.
“I still have her cake in the fridge, waiting for her,” Mr Brodutch said.
He said he is trying to remain strong while his family remains hostage, but he is being “torn apart”.
“My wife is everything to me,” he said.
“Every time I want to text her to ask a question or to tell her that I love her, I take out my phone and then I realise she’s gone.”
The Israeli military has said 242 people are currently held hostage by Hamas.
Some five hostages have been freed so far – four by Hamas itself and one through an Israeli ground assault.
Mr Brodutch wants the Israeli Government to do “the obvious thing” and get his family back to him, along with other hostages currently in Gaza.
“I wish for my kids to come back home to their dad and my wife to her husband," he said.
He said the current conflict between Israel and Hamas has “cost both sides so much”.
“I've always believed in peace,” he said. “I wish all this conflict was over.
“I don't have all the answers. I don't have any answers.
“The only thing I know that I want my family with me.”
Main image: Splitscreen of Avichai Brodutch and his family and his daugher Ofri at a previous birthday party. Image: Avichai Brodutch