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For the people in this lounge of a Red Sea hotel, it is the most important broadcast of the year. Israeli television shows the release of the second group of hostages held by Hamas on Sunday night. The viewers here are themselves directly affected by the Hamas terror on October 7. They come from Be'eri, one of the raided kibbutzes on the border with Gaza, and are now staying in a tourist hotel in Ein Bokek. Some of the hostages who have now been released were also living in Be'eri.

Kibbutz Residents

"I'm so excited that my friend Noam is coming back to us now. So excited. So glad. I don't know what to feel, it's all so crazy. But I'm happy and excited."

Among those who have returned are children. One girl has a special story: her name is Emily, and she lived to be nine years old in Hamas captivity. After the attack, the kibbutz residents mistakenly believed that Emily, like about 100 other people from Be'eri, had been killed by Hamas terrorists. Now, seven weeks later, her father welcomes her back.

Amit Solve, kibbutz leader

"I've come full circle, because unfortunately it was I who told her father that she had been murdered. A week later, it was me again who told her father that she had probably been abducted. I am so relieved that she is safe and sound and back with us. I now have to hug her father and apologize again. And so we come full circle."

Emily and another girl have not only been missed by their families – their schoolmates have also suffered.

Friends of Emily

"I'd love to ask so many things, but I shouldn't. They went through something so bad that we didn't have to go through. It was also bad for us, but nothing compared to them, at Hamas, in the tunnel. It scares me so much."

A happy ending for some in the hotel in Ein Bokek – but for many other relatives in Israel, the fear for the remaining hostages continues. At noon on Sunday, about 200 people were still in the hands of Hamas.