85-year-old woman released by Hamas after two weeks in captivity: Now she reveals what happened

Written by Henrik Rothen

Oct.24 - 2023 12:48 PM CET

Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Photo: Wikipedia Commons
Woman released by Hamas after two weeks in captivity.

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Israeli Yocheved Lifshitz slept on a mattress on the ground while she was held captive for two weeks by Hamas in Gaza.

She says that armed men put her on a motorcycle and drove her towards the Gaza Strip on October 7, when Hamas initiated an attack on Israel.

Sitting in a wheelchair in front of a hospital in the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv, 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz from Israel describes the last two weeks in Hamas' captivity as "hell." According to The Guardian, she made this statement at a press conference on Tuesday noon, just hours after she returned to Israel, according to multiple media outlets.

Lifshitz was one of two female hostages who were freed late Monday night, leaving still 220 hostages in Hamas' custody. She recounts that armed men put her on a motorcycle and drove her towards the Gaza Strip on October 7, when Hamas initiated an attack on Israel.

"The young men hit me along the way. They didn't break my ribs, but it was painful, and I had difficulty breathing," she says.

Upon arriving in Gaza, she was led down into tunnels underground. Here, she says, the hostages were forced to walk several kilometers on wet soil in a 'spider web' of tunnel passages, reports Sky News.

According to her, Hamas members took care of her and the other hostages during the two weeks she was captured. She had the opportunity to be washed and was fed.

"They gave us pita bread, hard cheese, low-fat cream cheese, and cucumber. That was our food for the entire day," she says. Her daughter, who helps translate for her mother at the press conference, adds that it was the same food that the captors themselves ate, writes Sky News.

Lifshitz noted that Hamas seemed 'very prepared' and criticized the Israeli military, who, according to her, have not taken threats from Hamas seriously enough up to October 7.

During her time down in the tunnels, a doctor came every second to third day to check on the hostages, says the 85-year-old Israeli. Also, a paramedic ensured that the hostages received the same medication they had been getting in Israel.

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