DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- As negotiators work to release hostages taken by Hamas, at least one couple has ties to North Carolina.
Family members of the couple, who now live in Israel, told ABC11 that one of them grew up in the Bull City. ABC11 reached out to the family who wishes to stay anonymous while they navigate a difficult situation.
But the community is rallying behind them. A neighbor, who is also Jewish, told us the news about the couple hits close to home.
"You can go through life thinking that this stuff will never touch me but heck no matter where you are, it can happen and it has," he said.
The couple, who are parents and grandparents, were living on a kibbutz near Gaza when it was attacked and they were abducted.
Neighbors said the family has been in contact with Governor Roy Cooper and federal lawmakers, including Senator Ted Budd, who referenced the North Carolina hostages on the Senate floor.
"They're working hard to try and get them out," the neighbor said.
"These families, their fear and their heartache is something that no American should ever have to face," Budd said in his remarks.
Durham Rabbi Daniel Greyber from Beth El Synagogue is among those making sure North Carolina's Jewish community has a voice, speaking at a rally over the weekend calling for hostages to be released.
"We have gathered from Durham and Chapel Hill to scream in pain because our fellow Jews are in pain," he said. "We will not be silent until the hostages go free, we say bring them home now."
The case has gone up the chain of command in Washington, D.C. and as of this writing there are no updates on negotiations.