Freed Israeli teen captive faces 'horrific' trolling after describing experience

Freed Israeli teen captive faces 'horrific' trolling after describing experience
A teenage Israeli captive who was freed from Gaza in November said she received an onslaught of negative comments from Israelis for describing her captivity.
3 min read
12 June, 2024
Freed Israeli captives have faced abuse from fellow Israelis after describing their experience in Gaza [Getty]

A teenage Israeli captive who was freed from Gaza in November's temporary truce and prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas recently told reporters that she was "shocked" and "hurt" by some of the comments she had received from Israelis after her return.

Agam Goldstein-Almog said she had received an onslaught of negative comments for describing what her time was like in captivity, as well as the relationship she had with her captors.

"Where can one find the space within the loss to deal with such horrific comments from people who live on this same land? Comments like ‘too bad you returned,’ or ‘you had it easy in captivity,’ it does something," she told reporters in Tel Aviv, Haaretz reported on Monday.

Goldstein-Almong said the wave of negative comments poured in after she started giving interviews, something which shocked her.

"It took a toll on me, I didn’t imagine I would have to deal with negative comments," she added.

She explained that many Israelis did not like that she "described my relations with my captors. But those were my captors: my food, my water, my life and my death. People just can’t grasp it," she said.

Other freed captives have also described their experience during their captivity in Gaza.

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Agam, who was abducted from Kibbutz Kfar Azza near the Gaza Strip, told Haaretz in December that she and her mother would often talk to their captors, engaging in long conversations about the longstanding conflict and tensions between Israel and Palestine.

"We had some deep conversations…to believe in humanity, in the existence of some good, you have to have conversations," she said, noting that they were given rice and pita to eat and that they played games at times and listened to the radio.

Last week, four Israeli captives were freed from Gaza in an Israeli operation that killed over 271 Palestinians, including children, and wounded more than 400.

"Israel has used hostages to legitimise killing, injuring, maiming, starving and traumatising Palestinians in Gaza. And while intensifying violence against Palestinians in the rest of the occupied territory and Israel," Francesca Albanese, the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights situation in occupied Palestine, said on X following the attack.

Albanese added that Israel "could have freed all hostages, alive and intact", eight months back "when the first ceasefire and hostage exchange was put on the table".

"Yet, Israel refused in order to continue to destroy Gaza and the Palestinians as a people," she continued.

Israel's relentless bombing and ground offensive in Gaza has killed at least 37,202 people there, mostly women and children and wounded at least 84,932 others, according to Gaza's health ministry.

Israel’s ongoing bombardment has levelled entire neighbourhoods and plunged the enclave into a deep humanitarian crisis. Thousands are feared to be still trapped under the rubble.