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85-12 months Previous Israeli Hostage Held in Gaza Says She ‘Went By Hell’

Yocheved Lifshitz, the 85-year-old girl who was launched after being held hostage by Palestinian militants in Gaza for 17 days, on Tuesday described being overwhelmed whereas her captors took her away on a motorbike.

Ms. Lifshitz stated she was marched by means of a community of subterranean tunnels underneath Gaza that she likened to “a spider net.” She stated that she was later handled comparatively properly, providing the primary public account to emerge from the greater than 200 hostages estimated to be held by Hamas and different armed teams in Gaza.

“I went by means of hell,” Ms. Lifshitz instructed reporters the day after her launch, sitting in a wheelchair at a hospital in Tel Aviv amid a thicket of microphones.

She was freed together with Nurit Cooper, 79, on Monday and transferred from Hamas custody to Israeli forces by way of the Worldwide Committee for the Crimson Cross and Egypt. Each of their husbands are nonetheless being held hostage in Gaza.

Her account of the tunnels supplied a glimpse of the difficulties dealing with Israel because it weighs whether or not and learn how to launch a floor invasion of Gaza to remove Hamas, which led the devastating Oct. 7 assault in opposition to Israel.

Hamas has constructed a labyrinth of underground passages in Gaza for its fighters, navy analysts stated, complicating each Israel’s anticipated floor operation and any try and rescue the hostages.

Ms. Lifshitz’s voice at occasions faltered as she recalled her abduction and the horrors suffered by her neighbors when Hamas attacked her city of Kibbutz Nir Oz. Her daughter Sharone, who was crouched at her facet on Tuesday, often translated for international journalists.

“Many individuals stormed our houses, they beat individuals, a few of them they kidnapped, like me,” Ms. Lifshitz stated. “It made no distinction, they kidnapped the aged and the younger.”

“In my reminiscence, I’ve these pictures on a regular basis,” she added later.

She stated her kidnappers hauled her onto a motorbike and beat her painfully within the ribs, making it arduous for her to breathe, and likewise took away her watch. They drove off by means of the fields surrounding Nir Oz.

They took her by means of the community of tunnels till they reached a big corridor the place about 25 individuals had been, she stated. After about two to 3 hours, they separated 5 individuals from her kibbutz into their very own room, the place they had been overseen by guards and a medic, she stated.

Ms. Lifshitz stated that she and others had been comparatively properly taken care of, given medication and the identical meals as their captors. Fearing illness, her captors labored to sanitize the realm, she stated, and medical doctors would go to sporadically to examine on them. “They handled us gently and fulfilled all of our wants,” she stated.

Hamas has launched 4 hostages, together with Judith and Natalie Raanan, American-Israeli residents who had been freed final week. Ms. Lifshitz is the primary launched hostage to talk publicly about her ordeal.

Ms. Lifshitz’s husband Oded — an Israeli journalist and peace activist — stays in Hamas captivity, in accordance with Israeli authorities.

The Hamas-led assault in opposition to Israel’s border communities shocked and traumatized the nation. Israel had repeatedly fought brief battles with Palestinian militants in Gaza lately, however nothing approaching the dimensions and brutality of the assault.

Ms. Lifshitz at occasions criticized the Israeli navy, saying that it and the Shin Guess home safety service had ignored warning indicators of the menace to cities close to Gaza. The Israeli navy’s chief of workers acknowledged after the assault that the navy had didn’t reside as much as its mission to guard Israel’s residents.

Weeks earlier than the assault, Palestinians had rioted and fired explosive balloons close to the Gaza border fence, sparking fires in southern Israel, Ms. Lifshitz stated.

The Israeli military “didn’t take this critically,” she stated.



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