Less than 10 km from Gaza, this Canadian-Israeli couple is hiding for their lives: ‘We’ve lost a lot of hope’

Gloria Wener and her husband, Howard Wener shelter in their home at Moshav Sde Nitzan, less than 10 km from the Israeli border with Gaza, on Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023.

On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023, Gloria and Howard Wener woke up to the sound of rockets and an air raid warning. The Canadian couple immigrated to Israel 50 years ago as pioneers of Sde Nitzan, a moshav of 500 people, less than 10 km from the Gaza border. Now, two days into Israel’s latest war with the Hamas-controlled region, the Weners remain locked inside their home, angry and disillusioned.

The couple has found themselves living near the frontlines of the most lethal attack in recent Israeli history. Israel says the surprise invasion by Hamas which breached the Israeli border by land, sea and air into Israel’s southwestern towns and communities, killed (as of publication on Oct. 8) more than 600 Israeli people and wounded 2,000 Israelis. At least 100 people, mostly Israelis, have been kidnapped and are being held hostage.

For now, the Weners are under orders to remain in lockdown, or even evacuate. Hamas terrorists are still roaming the Eshkol Regional Council zone, after killing or kidnapping some of the Weners’ friends and neighbours. The Canadian couple is “fuming” and “disappointed” over the colossal inteIligence failure by the Israeli army, which didn’t see the attack coming and took hours to respond. They join The CJN Daily‘s host, Ellin Bessner, from their home on the front lines.

What we talked about

  • Read the warnings from Global Affairs Canada about travel in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza
  • Register with the Canadian government if you are in Israel
  • Learn more about the Sde Nitzan moshav in The CJN archives (from 2008)


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our intern is Ashok Lamichhane, and our theme music by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.