NEW YORK (PIX11) — Moshe Emilio Lavi said his sister Lishy, brother-in-law Omri, and two young nieces were kidnapped by Hamas Saturday morning. They live in Nakhal Oz, near the Gaza Strip.

“They were in their home, in a safe room in their home,” said Lavi. “And, like many in Nakhal Oz, they were taken by Hamas terrorists.”

Lavi said he had been in constant contact with his parents and siblings, all of whom live in Israel, where he also grew up. Then, his sister went silent.

“We lost contact with my sister and brother-in-law,” said Lavi. “They stopped responding. A few minutes before that, they sent a photo of my two beautiful nieces and their dog.”

After eight hours of deafening silence, Lavi said his sister escaped with his 5-month-old and 2-year-old nieces. It’s unclear if Hamas willingly released them. Lishy’s husband, Omri, is still being held hostage.

“My sister, obviously, is not in the best state,” said Lavi. “But she’s such a heroine. She did everything she could to protect herself my nieces. And I’m so proud of her.”

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Lavi said he’s been scanning social media, watching some of the most harrowing videos of Hamas terror, to spot his brother-in-law. So far, he has not seen anything.

He is considering flying to Israel next week to be with his parents and siblings but said it’s a tough decision.

“To be honest, I don’t know where is safe or unsafe at the moment,” said Lavi. “I just hope for the best for all of us.”