Central Texas man's family among hostages released by Hamas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Israel and Hamas agreed to extend their cease-fire agreement for two more days, according to the Qatari government.

So far, 58 hostages have been released during the current deal, including 39 Israelis.

Among those freed are relatives of a Central Texas man.

‘Roller coaster of emotions’

Dori Roberts said it was the news he was desperately hoping for.

“Text messages saying like, they’re free, they’re out,” Roberts said. “They’re back home.”

His cousin and her two daughters were among the Israeli hostages held captive by Hamas for nearly two months.

  • Dori Robert's family reunited
  • Dori Robert's family reunited
  • Dori Robert's family reunited

Roberts said after 50 long days, they were freed on Friday.

The daughters are just 2 years-old and 4-years old.

“The best way to describe it is that it’s been a truly roller coaster of emotions.”

Dori Roberts

Roberts learned more about their time held captive.

“We found out that they spent about maybe an hour of daylight if they could, but that’s all they gave them,” Roberts said. “They were eating chickpeas out of like, you know, canned food pretty much. Dry bread and water.”

Roberts said the road ahead for his relatives is one of both physical and emotional healing.

“They’re really lacking a lot of the nutrition,” he said. “The kids are really, really suffered a great deal of trauma from this.”

But Roberts said the mission to save his family isn’t over yet. Two of his relatives still remain hostages.

“We know it’s a long road ahead and it’s gonna be a bumpy road ahead, but we’re very determined.”

Dori Roberts

Sadly, not all of his family members made it out alive. Roberts said his aunt was killed while in captivity.

“We’re not sure exactly what happened but my aunt was murdered there and her body was left by the border,” Roberts said.

Dori Roberts' Aunt
Dori Roberts said several of his family members were among those captured by Hamas. (Courtesy: Asher Family)

Roberts hopes to visit his family in Israel at the beginning of the new year to support them with their journey ahead.

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