Tel Aviv – An 85-year-old Israeli woman released by the Islamist group Hamas said yesterday that she lived through “hell” when she was captured and taken to a “network of tunnels” by her kidnappers, who then treated her better during her captivity of more than two years. weeks in the Gaza Strip.
Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, was released Monday night along with Nurit Kuper, 79. Both lived in the Nir Oz kibbutz, near the Gaza Strip and attacked by Hamas militants on October 7 as part of their bloody surprise offensive in Israel.
Their husbands remain captives of the Palestinian Islamist movement.
“I lived through hell, I didn’t know I would find myself in that situation,” Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, told reporters in Tel Aviv, sitting in a wheelchair and next to her daughter.
According to what she said, the militiamen took her away on a motorcycle, kidnapping her. “They hit me on the road; They didn’t break my ribs, but they hurt me a lot and I had difficulty breathing.”
On the morning of the attack, coinciding with the end of a Jewish holiday, the octogenarian remembers “the intense shooting,” the “mass entry” of armed Hamas members into her agricultural cooperative, and “the assaults” on her family’s homes. neighbors.
“They did not distinguish between old and young. “I can’t stop replaying what happened in my mind.” After her kidnapping, she says she was taken to “a network of underground tunnels” for two or three hours. She was then taken to a room with 25 other hostages, and from there to a separate room with four captives, where she was placed on a mattress.
As he explained, his situation improved during his captivity. “They treated us well,” and “a doctor came every two or three days to check on us, and to make sure we had medication.”
“They took into account all our needs,” and “they were very kind,” he said. “We ate the same thing as them: pitas with creamy cheese, melted cheese and cucumbers. “That was the meal of the day.”
The woman commented that the militiamen seemed to have prepared the kidnappings. “They seemed to be ready for this, they prepared it for a long time, they had everything that men and women need, even shampoo,” she told reporters.
Lifshitz also explained that their kidnappers tried to talk to them about politics. “We didn’t want to talk about politics with them, we were their hostages, and we didn’t respond. But they talked about many things.”
Some 220 Israeli, foreign or binational hostages were kidnapped by Hamas commandos in the attack launched on October 7, which left more than 1,400 dead, mostly civilians, on the Israeli side.
Since then, and in retaliation, the Israeli army has bombed the Gaza Strip daily, governed by Hamas, which yesterday reported that at least 5,791 people have died in the enclave since the start of the war.
Last Friday, two American women, mother and daughter, were also released by Hamas.