AUSTIN, Texas – A Central Texas resident found out his missing family members were among the 150+ Israeli citizens being held hostage by Hamas through a TikTok video.
Dori Roberts identified his 67-year-old aunt, 34-year-old cousin, and his cousin’s two daughters, who are 2 and 4-years-old, to FOX 7 Austin.
“We saw a TikTok video emerge very clearly showing my cousin, my aunt, and her two daughters in a vehicle surrounded by militants with guns being captured and moved to the Gaza Strip,” said Robert.
He says it has been a terrifying waiting game. After days of radio silence, he says this video was the bittersweet proof he needed to know his family is still alive.
“Which was very important and somewhat positive to us. The bad news is that we just don’t know where they are right now,” said Roberts.
The last thing Roberts heard was that his aunt and her husband were sheltering in place in their safe room with his cousin and her two young daughters. As they were bunkered down, he was told Hamas were going door to door terrorizing his family’s community.
“Looting, burning, killing people and putting civilians, women, kids and elderly on trucks and vehicles,” he said.
He says he heard Hamas tried to break into his family’s safe house. The last thing he was told was that his aunt’s husband tried to talk to them.
“We assumed they were gone. We didn’t know. Then we saw the video emerge,” he said.
Roberts admits he feels helpless. He says he wants to share his family’s story and faces to hopefully bring them and the other hostages to safety.
“This has to end. They have to release those captors’ hostages immediately, no negotiation and just send them back home safe to their families and their loved ones,” he said.
He hopes his family is still within the Gaza Strip’s border. For now, he hopes the international government works overtime to get these hostages home.