Sitting on plastic chairs, fed frugally, but in rather good physical condition... As Israeli hostages held by Hamas are released thanks to the agreement reached between the Islamist terrorist group and the Hebrew state, their conditions of detention in the Gaza Strip are becoming clearer.
Merav Raviv, whose aunt Ruth Munder, cousin Keren Munder and son Ohad were released on Friday, November 24, tells The Times of Israel that they say they were fed pita rice. Meals were irregular, she added to the Associated Press (AP). She explains that her cousin and aunt each lost seven kilos during their 50 days of captivity.
“When they needed to go to the bathroom, they had to knock on the door,” she adds, adding that they “sometimes had to wait an hour and a half to go.” Their captors were armed but their faces were not concealed, Merav Raviv reported in an interview on Israeli television. His relatives, who have always been kept together, also assure that the Hamas members who monitored them threatened them by miming a slitting of their throats.
“They were always telling them to whisper,” Yair Rotem, whose niece Hila, 12, was also released, told AP. “I tell her again that she can raise her voice again.” The hostages were “in a tunnel,” explains Eyal Nouri, nephew of Adina Moshe, 72, released Friday. His aunt had to get used to “daylight again,” he says, adding that “during her captivity, she was disconnected from the outside world.”
So much so that Adina Moshe did not know she was going to be released, “until she saw the Red Cross”. Many hostages also discovered the fate of their loved ones upon their release. Some learned that one of their own had been murdered during the October 7 attack. Others, like Yaffa Adar, 85, had the pleasure of hugging again loved ones they thought were dead.
Released at the end of October, well before the truce agreement between Israel and Hamas, Yocheved Lipschitz, 85, described similar conditions of detention. She said she was held in tunnels under Gaza, eaten pita bread, cheese and cucumbers, and treated well.
Most of the released hostages appear to be in good physical condition, despite indelible psychological trauma. Two, however, are in a more serious condition: Alma Abraham, 84, who reportedly did not receive her medical treatment during her captivity, and a young girl who was seen crossing the border on crutches.