Israeli hostage released, says 'she was treated well'

Israeli hostage released, says 'she was treated well'


25 October, 2023

An elderly Israeli hostage who was released by Hamas this week said she was treated well by the militant group during her two-week captivity in the Palestinian enclave. However, she said she first went "through hell" after being beaten by militants when she was abducted and taken to Gaza on 7 October.

Yocheved Lifshitz was one of two elderly women freed late on Monday, leaving around 220 hostages still in the hands of Hamas, including both of their husbands. Once inside Gaza, the group of hostages of which Lifshitz was a part were led into a "spider's web" of tunnels built by Hamas, before they eventually reached a large hall.

"When we got there, first of all, they told us that they believed in the Quran and that they would not harm us," the 85-year-old recounted during a press conference outside a hospital in Tel Aviv. She said a group of five people from her kibbutz was held together, each with an individual guard who stayed with them 24 hours a day.

Lifshitz said a doctor also visited them every other day and brought them the medicines they needed. "They took good care of the wounded," she said. Hamas's military wing said the two elderly women they freed on Monday night had been freed for "compelling humanitarian" reasons following mediation by Qatar and Egypt. Hamas said that it had tried to free the two elderly women on Friday, but Israel had refused.

Produced by Reem Khabbazy