Rotem Neumann
Rotem Neumann's body was discovered yesterday. She was one of hundreds of young people massacred in Israel by Hamas terrorists last Saturday. Image: Facebook

Portuguese student missing in Israel found dead

Rotem Neumann was at the rave stormed by Hamas terrorists on Saturday morning

A 25-year-old naturalised Portuguese woman studying in Tel Aviv, who was reported missing after the Hamas attack on Israel last Saturday, has been found dead, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Rotem Neumann, who became a Portuguese citizen under the Nationality Law brought in for Sephardic Jews, was one of the hundreds of young people massacred as they tried to flee a rave stormed by Hamas terrorists.

Her death was confirmed yesterday by her cousin, Tomer Neumann, explains AP.

What appears to have happened is that Rotem managed to get away from the festival in a vehicle with friends, but this was later ambushed by Hamas militants. The young people did make an escape – with Rotem having sent a message over her phone to a friend, to give their location. But the militants followed, attacking the spot where they were taking refuge (a kibbutz by the name of Re’im), leaving “several bodies” where they fell. It isn’t clear yet exactly where Rotem’s body was found, but the account suggests it was most likely at the kibbutz.

Israel has already begun responding to the atrocities that played out under the name of Hamas’ Operation al-Aqsa Storm. Fears naturally are growing for the hundreds of Israeli citizens ‘taken hostage’ and held in Gaza. Hamas has threatened to start live-streaming their executions if Israel bombs Gaza, which is happening.

As this terrible moment in history develops, the number of requests from naturalised Portuguese citizens to be evacuated from Israel increases. Defence minister Helena Carreiras has refused to be drawn on numbers, but a second repatriation flight is being organised, ostensibly to leave Tel Aviv tomorrow evening. The first flight is due to touch down in Lisbon as we write this text.

Meantime, here in Portugal, authorities are ‘reinforcing security’ around the synagogues of Lisbon and Porto, and the Israeli embassy.

Matilde Montes, a Portuguese national who had been living in Israel for a year, arrived in Lisbon airport yesterday, having fled the country on a scheduled flight, saying she had “left everything behind”.

During her year in Israel, she said that “many times we have to go into bunkers, but this time it was different (…) I want to go back (…) I left everything behind. I only brought one bag with me”. Her account gels with clips uploaded over social media: people waiting for planes at the airport on Sunday/ Monday were ordered to ‘leave their bags and run’ by staff as the airport itself was being targeted by Hamas’ missiles.

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