“We are afraid that he is no longer alive,” confides the uncle of Ofer Kalderon, French hostage of Hamas

“We are afraid that he is no longer alive,” confides the uncle of Ofer Kalderon, French hostage of Hamas
“We are afraid that he is no longer alive,” confides the uncle of Ofer Kalderon, French hostage of Hamas

After the announcement of the death of Orión Hernández-Radoux, Franco-Mexican hostage of Hamas since the attack on October 7, concern continues to grow for the 124 other detainees, including two French people. Ofer Kalderon, 53, a father, was kidnapped along with two of his children, who have since been released. His uncle told RMC that he was afraid to “think about the possibility that Ofer is no longer alive”.

The Israeli army announced on Friday May 24 that it had recovered the bodies of three hostages held in the Gaza Strip, that of the Israeli Chanan Yablonka, the Israeli-Brazilian Michel Nisenbaum and that of the Franco-Mexican, Orión Hernández-Radoux, aged 32.

His body was found in Jabalya, in the north of the Gaza Strip, on the night of Thursday to Friday. Orión Hernández-Radoux was kidnapped on October 7 by Hamas while he was at a music festival with his girlfriend, Shani Louk, whose body was found in Jabalya last week.

Of the 252 hostages and bodies taken to Gaza on October 7, the day of the Palestinian Hamas attack on Israel, 124 are still being held by the Islamist movement and its allies, according to the latest figures from the Israeli authorities.

A few days after the Hamas attack, Orión’s mother received calls in Arabic saying that her son was alive, held hostage. Except that according to the Israeli army, Orión Hernández-Radoux was killed on October 7, the day of the attack.

An announcement which worries the families of the hostages still held by Hamas. Two other French nationals are still wanted, Ohad Yahalomi, 49 years old and Ofer Kalderon, 53 years old.

“This news is terrible. This demonic aspect of Hamas which took away a dead person while making people believe that he was alive. We don’t know when they will stop the horrors,” Olivier confides at the microphone of RMC , close to Ofer Kalderon.

“An anxiety that stops our breathing”

Yishai is Ofer Kalderon’s uncle and fears for his life more than ever. “We are afraid, terribly afraid of knowing, of thinking about the possibility that Ofer is no longer alive. An anxiety that stops our breathing,” he explains to RMC.

On October 7, Ofer Kalderon was kidnapped by Hamas in Kibbutz Nir Oz with two of his children, aged 12 and 16. Released on November 27 after 52 days of captivity, they are still traumatized but still maintain the hope of finding their father. “It’s very difficult for them, there are four of them. They suffer without their father, they all fear that something will happen to him,” explains Yishai.

“The last message my ex-husband sent me was: we jump out of the window, we’re going to hide in the bushes,” his ex-wife Hadas Jaoui-Kalderon told Le Parisien.

“The ceasefire is necessary, it is the only solution”

An unbearable anguish, which for Yishai cannot end without an agreement between Israel and Hamas. “The ceasefire is necessary, it is the only solution. As long as the war continues, there will be no change,” he says. He therefore asks France to do everything to convince Israel to negotiate a ceasefire, in exchange for the hostages.

“If Hamas releases hostages, perhaps that would facilitate a truce, we would stop the fighting but we are less and less optimistic about the survival of the hostages,” admits Olivier.

112 hostages released

To date, 112 hostages have been freed: 105 during a one-week truce at the end of November, five before and two at the beginning of February in an Israeli operation in Rafah (south). In detail, 33 minors, 49 adult women and 30 adult men, mainly Thai agricultural workers, were released.

As of May 23, 87 presumed living hostages and 37 bodies are still being held in Gaza, including 25 of people killed in the October 7 attack and whose remains were taken to the Palestinian territory, according to data collected by AFP.

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