Hamas released two more hostages – friends and residents of one of the kibbutzim that were attacked by militants on October 7. About 200 people are believed to be in Hamas’ hands, including the husbands of the released women. One representative of the Palestinian terrorist group admitted that civilians would be released if Israel met a number of conditions.
After 17 days of fear and uncertainty, they regained their freedom. Late on Monday evening, Hamas terrorists released two hostages who had been abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz, located near the Gaza Strip, in early October.
– My mother says that when they kidnapped her, they put her on a motorcycle. Her arms were hanging on one side and her legs were hanging on the other. They led her through plowed fields. She was surrounded. She says that before they reached the tunnels in Gaza, they beat her with sticks, says Sharone Lifschitz, the daughter of the released hostage.
Nurit, 79, and Yocheved, 85, were freed thanks to negotiations involving Qatar and Egypt. The International Committee of the Red Cross took the women to the Rafah border crossing and handed them over to the Israeli military there. Their husbands are still detained in the Gaza Strip.
– I hope my father is taken care of. He speaks Arabic well, so he is able to communicate with those people. He knows many people in Gaza. I want to believe that everything is fine with him,” says Sharone Lifschitz in an interview with the BBC.
Hamas says it released the hostages for “humanitarian reasons.” The women were taken to a hospital in Tel Aviv. – I was happy when I saw them. They are in good condition. We took them to the ward. There they met their families. There was a lot of joy and a lot of tears, says Ettie Oziel from the Medical Center in Tel Aviv. – We have a lot of emotions. We are happy that my grandmother and Nurit Cooper have been released. We hope that more people will soon regain their freedom, emphasizes Daniel Lifschitz, the grandson of the freed hostage.
The families of the abductees do not lose hope
All hostages were taken captive on October 7 when Hamas attacked Israel. The terrorists abducted about 30 children. Among them is Ohad, who celebrated his ninth birthday on Monday. The boy was kidnapped from his grandparents’ house.
– Instead of celebrating his birthday with his friends and family, Ohad is in Gaza. We have no idea who accompanies him, who takes care of him, whether he has anything to eat or how he sleeps. We don’t know anything, says Merav Raviv, a relative of those abducted by Hamas.
On Friday, terrorists released the first hostages – two American women – a mother and a daughter. About 200 people are believed to be in Hamas’ hands. Terrorists say some hostages were killed by Israeli fire, but provide no details. The families of the abductees are trying not to lose hope. They believe that their loved ones are alive.
– I want my daughters to come home. I don’t care how much we have to pay Hamas, what we have to give them. I just want my children back, says Maayan Zin, the mother of children abducted by Hamas.
The terrorists stated that the hostages were being held, among others, in underground tunnels in Gaza. In an interview with Sky News, one Hamas representative admitted that civilians would be released if Israel met a number of conditions. Among them is limiting attacks on the Gaza Strip.
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Main photo source: Reuters