Hunger, fear and darkness: the harsh stories of those kidnapped by Hamas who were released

What the Hamas kidnapped people who were released said

For sleep, a plastic chair. For eat, bread and rice. A wait of several hours to be able to go to the bathroom. As the hostages return to Israel After seven weeks in Hamas captivity, they have begun to come to light details about the conditions of your lockdown.

The 58 hostages released under a peace agreement ceasefire During the last three days, they have largely stayed away from the public eye and the majority are still in hospitals in different parts of the country.

Almost two months after the fighters of Hamas They were forcibly taken to Gaza during a bloody raid on Israel that left 1,200 dead, Most of the hostages appear to be in stable physical condition.

Information about the conditions of their captivity has been tightly controlled, but relatives of the freed hostages have begun to share some details about their loved ones’ experiences.

Merav Ravivwhose three relatives were freed by Hamas on Friday, said they were receiving irregularly shaped food and that they mainly ate rice and bread. She noted that her cousin and her aunt, Keren and Ruth Munder, each lost about 15 pounds (7 kilos) in just 50 days.

Raviv said his released relatives said they had to sleep on plastic chairs arranged in a room that looked like a reception. He detailed that Sometimes they had to wait several hours to go to the bathroom.

Ruth Munder, a freed Israeli hostage, shortly after her arrival in Israel (IDF via AP)
Ruth Munder, a freed Israeli hostage, shortly after her arrival in Israel (IDF via AP) (Uncredited/)

Adva Adargranddaughter of Yaffa Adar — an 85-year-old freed hostage — said her grandmother had also lost weight.

“He counted the days of his captivity,” Adar said. “He came back and said, ‘I know I’ve been there for 50 days.’”

Adar explained that her grandmother was taken hostage convinced that her relatives were dead, but she later learned that they had survived. Either way, her release was bittersweet: she also learned that her house had been looted by the militiamen.

“For an 85-year-old woman, you usually have the house where you raised your children, you have your memories, your photo albums, your clothes,” Adar said. “She has nothing, and at her age she needs to start from scratch. She said that this is very difficult for her.”

In the 50 days since the hostages were kidnapped, Israel has devastated the Gaza Strip with an air and ground offensive that has claimed the lives of at least 13,300 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-ruled territory’s Health Ministry. Under the current four-day truce, Hamas has agreed to release 50 Israeli hostages in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian prisoners and the influx of aid to the beleaguered enclave is intensified.

In addition, it has also been released 18 foreignersmost of them Thai.

Israeli hostage Ohad Munder, nine years old, after being released (IDF via AP)
Israeli hostage Ohad Munder, nine years old, after being released (IDF via AP) (Uncredited/)

Another 11 hostages are scheduled to be released on Monday, the last day of the ceasefire, leaving around 180 hostages in the Gaza Strip. Israeli authorities have reiterated that they are willing to extend the truce one more day for every 10 additional hostages Hamas releases.

The most complete picture yet of Hamas’s life in captivity was recounted by Yocheved Lipschitz, an 85-year-old hostage who was released before the current truce. After her release, Lipschitz said she had been held in tunnels that stretched “like a spider web” beneath Gaza. She narrated that her captors “told us that they were people who believed in the Koran and would not hurt us.”

Lipschitz said the hostages were treated well and received medical care, including medication. The guards kept the place clean, he said. The captives were given a daily meal of cheese, cucumber and pita, he said, adding that their captors ate the same as them.

There are also indications that the most recently released hostages were also held underground. Eyal Nouri, nephew of Adina Moshe, 72, who was released on Friday, said her aunt “had to adapt to the sunlight” because He spent several weeks in the dark.

“I was in complete darkness,” Nouri said. “I was walking looking at the ground because I was in a tunnel. She wasn’t used to daylight. And during her captivity, she was disconnected from the entire outside world.”

Nouri said Moshe didn’t know she would be released until the last moment.

“Until he saw the Red Cross,” he said. “That was the moment he realized these horrendous seven weeks were coming to an end.”

When she came out, she learned the news that her husband had been killed by the militiamen and that her son’s family had miraculously survived.

The doctors warned him of high psychological cost of his captivity. Israel has made therapists and other forms of support available to all those who have been released.

As some of the hostages have been able to return home, the details of their dramatic stay in the hands of the terrorists are coming to light (Haim Zach/AP)
As some of the hostages have been able to return home, the details of their dramatic stay in the hands of the terrorists are coming to light (Haim Zach/AP) (Haim Zach/)

But most of the freed hostages appear to be in good physical condition, able to walk and talk normally.

But at least two of them needed more medical attention. One of the hostages released on Sunday, Alma Abraham, 84, was taken in critical condition to the Soroka Medical Center of Israel, in the city of Beersheba.

The hospital director said that the woman had a previous condition that had not been adequately treated during her captivity. Another young hostage appeared on crutches during a video that Hamas released on Saturday. The girl made gestures to her captors while she entered the Red Cross vehicle that took her out of the territory.

Yair Rotem, whose 12-year-old niece Hila Rotem-Shoshanni was freed on Sunday, said he had to be reminded frequently that he no longer had to whisper.

“They were always told to speak softly and stay silent, so I told him over and over again that he could raise his voice,” Rotem said. He added that Hila, who will celebrate her 13th birthday on Monday, slept well during her first night back in Israel and that she had a good appetite.

Shortly after being released, Ohad Munder—Raviv’s 9-year-old nephew—found himself surrounded by friends to celebrate his month-late ninth birthday in a hospital ward with ice cream and pizza.

Eitan Vilchikone of the friends of Ohadhe said to Channel 13 from Israel that his friend “was emotionally strong” and that he could now answer his questions about what he ate and what he experienced during his captivity. But Ohad’s friends declined to share details, saying they wanted to respect his privacy.

Vilchik said teachers have canceled assignments for Munder, but his friends will help him catch up on subjects he missed at school.

He added that Ohad was still able to solve a Rubik’s cube in less than a minute.