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NBA, NFL Stars Send Heartfelt Birthday Message to Israeli Boy Whose Entire Family Was Murdered

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A group of NBA and NFL players came together to send a special birthday message to a 13-year-old Israeli boy whose entire family was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in the Oct. 7th massacre in Israel.

A video posted to X Wednesday describes how Ariel Zohar went for a jog on the morning of Oct. 7th and when he returned home, he found his mother, father, sisters, and grandfather brutally murdered by Hamas. 

Zohar celebrated his 13th birthday this week and because he is a "huge" sports fan, NFL and NBA players sent a video message to the young man wishing him a happy birthday. 

The athletes featured in the video include football players Dez Bryant and DeSean Jackson; basketball players Tyler Herro, Isaiah Thomas, Terrance Mann, Marcus Morris, and  Michael Porter Jr.

"I just want to wish you a happy 13th birthday," said Miami Heat star, Herro, "My prayers are with you. I hope you keep your head high and enjoy this amazing day you turn 13. You have our support here in Miami and God bless you, and I hope you have an amazing day."

Former basketball player Glen "Big Baby" Davis shared, "I can't describe what you've been going through. I just know that I'm praying for you for healing, praying for you for a great, bright future, and we love you, man … I love you, Ariel. Happy birthday my man. Keep your head up, bro. We're supporting you."

It's a heartwarming message felt around the world as the video has garnered more than 4 million views on X and Instagram. 

Zohar's extended family plans to celebrate his bar mitzvah as planned.

Zohar's story shines a spotlight on the atrocities many families have suffered at the hands of Hamas terrorists. 

As CBN News reported, more than 240 children, women, and men – including elderly Jews and Holocaust survivors – were taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7. 

More specifically, 32 of those abducted are children and babies – the youngest nine months old. 

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According to The Sun, one mother, identified as Mayaan, requested the outlet to publish a photo of her daughters released by the terror group on the social media site Telegram.

The outlet describes the "tearful girls on mattresses in a tunnel under Gaza" with a mocking message written in Arabic by Hamas that read, "Dress them in prayer clothes."

The mother told the outlet she wanted people to understand the hostages' ordeal.

"Who kidnaps children? Where in the world is that the right thing to do?" she questioned in desperation. "Hamas should have released them all on day one. The kids have not done anything to anyone. They are not soldiers, they are not related to any conflict. You do not abduct babies and children."

Organizations like the Combat Antisemitism Movement are leading initiatives demanding the release of all the hostages. 

In a recent petition, the group asked for states and international institutions to take "immediate and decisive" action to secure the safe release of the hostages. 

"This heinous act of terror stands as a stark reminder of the darkest chapters in human history, echoing the pain and suffering endured during the Holocaust. We must not allow such atrocities to persist in our modern world," reads the petition.

It continues, "The anguish experienced by the families of these innocent hostages is immeasurable. They live in a constant state of fear and uncertainty, tormented by the thought of their loved ones in the hands of those who seek to spread terror and division. We cannot turn a blind eye to their pain, for it is a reflection of our collective vulnerability and fragility as human beings."

So far, only four hostages have been freed and one Israeli female soldier has been rescued by Israeli troops. 
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About The Author


Talia Wise has served as a multi-media producer for, CBN Newswatch, The Prayer Link, and CBN News social media outlets. Prior to joining CBN News she worked for Fox Sports Florida producing and reporting. Talia earned a master’s degree in journalism from Regent University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia.