Twins survive Hamas raid thanks to hero parents who hid them before being killed

A mum and died were murdered seconds after hiding their twins from the Hamas militants who stormed their home.

Itay and Hadar Berdichevsky's instant reaction to their home invasion was to place their 10-month-old twins in a hidden shelter before being gunned down themselves. Their quick-thinking worked as the orphaned infants remained out of the killers' sight and were rescued by Israeli soldiers 12 hours later.

Bloodshed in Israel and Palestine has reached new harrowing heights since a brutal festival massacre of Israeli festival-goers on Saturday. A horrific spree of violence has since left 800 Israelis dead, two of them are the tragic 30-year-old Berdichevskys.

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The Daily Star's coverage of the intensified conflict can be caught up with here

The family were at home in Kfar Gaza, a kibbutz in southern Israel three miles east of Gaza – when they were murdered, according to Israeli outlet Walla. Israel's ambassador to Colombia, Gali Dagan, has since praised the couple as heroes for their quick-thinking actions.

Writing on X / Twitter, Mr Dagan said: "They hid their 10-month-old twin children in the shelter while terrorists infiltrated their home. Itay and Hadar were brutally murdered after bravely fighting the terrorists. The babies were left alone for more than 12 hours until they were rescued. Imagine the horror. Two terrified parents doing everything they can to save their children, who are now orphaned. Blessed be the memory of these heroes."

At least 1,200 people overall have died on both sides of the fight since violence erupted again over the weekend, with intense rocketfire continuing. The surprise attack on Israel was carried out by Hamas fighters, with harrowing video footage showing fighters gun down Israeli soldiers after paragliding into the country.

Israel's Defence Forces have described the brutal violence as the "worst day" in its history of conflict. Hundreds of Palestinians, including children, have also been killed after Israel launched a counter-attack.

Hamas militants have now said they will kill one Israeli civilian captive any time Israel targets civilians in their homes in Gaza "without prior warning". Abu Obeida, the spokesman of the Qassam Brigades, said in an audio released on Monday night that the past hours have witnessed intense strikes by Israel on civilian areas in which homes were destroyed over people's heads.

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"We have decided to put an end to this and as of now and we declare that any targeting of our people in their homes without prior warning will be regrettably faced with the execution of one the hostages of civilians we are holding," he said. In a video statement on Monday, Israel's foreign minister warned Hamas against harming any of the hostages who were taken from Israel and being held in Gaza.

Eli Cohen said Israel was committed to bringing the hostages home "in the spirit of mutual responsibility". "We demand Hamas not to harm any of the hostages," he added.

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