BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — Alana Zeitchik’s last contact with her family was Saturday morning. She is heartbroken as she sits in her Brooklyn apartment trying to learn the fate of six cousins among the Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas.
“We are shattered,” Zeitchik said emotionally.
She said she woke up every morning with tears filling her eyes.
“I just wailed in disbelief. It was like waking up from a nightmare,” she claimed.
The close-knit family was at Kibbutz Oz when they heard sirens and raced to a shelter. Zeitchik’s cousin Sharon was on the phone with her mother, Zeitchik’s aunt, as Hamas closed in.
“Smoke began coming into the bomb shelter, and Hamas gunmen forced them out, and at that point, my aunt said, ‘I don’t think we’re going to survive this. I love you.’ That was the last contact with my family,” Zaitchik said.
Until they surfaced on social media video being grabbed by Hamas terrorists, Zeitchik said it was painful to watch.
“I can see my cousin’s back of her hair, my cousin’s daughter Ameilia, and David holding one of the twins,” she said.
Five-year-old Ameilia, three-year-old twins Emma and Julia, Sharon, David and Danielle, who were visiting the Kibbutz for the weekend, are all believed to be among the hostages held somewhere in Gaza.
Zeitchik, who lives in Bed-Stuy, remains hopeful.
“I have to believe in my soul that they’re still alive,” Zeitchik said. “I cannot sit and watch the news and hope for the best. I’m a cynic about thoughts and prayers, which mean a lot, but now I want people to take action and bring our family back.”
Zeitchik said she could no longer wait and pray. She’s now speaking out, hoping to mobilize world leaders to take action to rescue her family and the other hostages safely.
On Friday, she and her brother will carry their appeal to the United Nations, where they are scheduled to speak to a group of Ambassadors.