January 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israeli Baby Turns One in Hamas Captivity

January 18, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israeli Baby Turns One in Hamas Captivity

Latest Developments

Israel marked the first birthday of Kfir Bibas, the youngest hostage held in the Gaza Strip, on January 18. Bibas was eight months old when Hamas seized him, along with his parents and four-year-old brother, from Kibbutz Nir Oz during the October 7 cross-border rampage that sparked the current Gaza war. The Palestinian terrorist group has claimed that the Bibas boys and their mother Shiri died in an Israeli air strike but has not published corroborating images. Israel has not listed any members of the Bibas family among the 27 hostages who have died, among more than 130 still in Gaza captivity.

Relatives, friends, and campaigners held solidarity events in Israel, releasing orange balloons meant to recall the ginger hair of the Bibas boys. Israeli President Isaac Herzog took a picture of baby Kfir with him to the World Economic Forum at Davos. “His whereabouts are unknown,” Herzog told the gathering. “We know he was kidnapped by Hamas. We know that these barbaric terrorists have taken him and his mother and his brother, and his father was held in a different place. We know that they are going through hell.”

“And from here, this incredible world stage, I call upon the entire universe to work endlessly to free Kfir, and all the hostages,” Herzog added.

Expert Analysis

“The fact that a baby could have been taken hostage at all is a mark of Hamas’s barbarism. The fact that he is still in captivity is a mark of global shame. Kfir Bibas has spent a third of his life in conditions of untold awfulness. Those wondering why Israel is willing to wage this war, alone if it must, need look no further than the posters showing Kfir smiling in a crib — and at the pro-Palestinian activists who so heartlessly tore them down.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The birthday of the youngest hostage in Gaza is a stark reminder that Hamas and its allies are not so-called freedom fighters — they are terrorist groups driven by the sole objective of obliterating Israel. This reprehensible agenda became indisputably evident on October 7 as these organizations brazenly infiltrated southern Israel, perpetrating heinous acts of mass abduction, murder, looting, and arson, ravaging not only Nir Oz but also numerous other Israeli communities.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hamas Airs Videos of Hostages, Claims Two Are Dead,” FDD Flash Brief

100 Days After Brutal Attack, Israel Continues Maximum Pressure Campaign to Free Hostages,” FDD Flash Brief

Qatar Accedes to Medicine Delivery for Hostages Held by Hamas,” FDD Flash Brief

Israeli Forces Locate Tunnel Where Hostages Were Held in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief


Israel Israel at War