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Undernourished, isolated: first details emerge on the treatment of Hamas hostages in Gaza

Oren Ziv Agence France-Presse Israeli hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, is hugged by members of her family after being released by Hamas on Tuesday.

Insufficient food, in isolation, in the dark: despite the discretion demanded by the Israeli authorities, some details are gradually emerging on the way in which the hostages kidnapped during the Hamas attack in Israel on the 7th were treated in the Gaza Strip. October.

This unprecedented bloody attack on Israeli soil triggered Israeli reprisals on the Gaza Strip, in the hands of the Islamist movement, with the Israeli army relentlessly bombing the Palestinian territory until to a truce that came into force on November 24.

None of the 81 Israeli or foreign hostages released since the start of the truce have so far publicly expressed their conditions of captivity. And the Israeli authorities have asked hospitals to remain discreet on the subject, for fear that it would harm those still reclusive.

But caregivers or relatives provided some information.


According to Dr. Ronit Zaidenstein of Shamir Hospital, the 17 Thai hostages who were examined there upon their release received only a “very poorly nutritious diet” during their captivity.

“The People we admitted lost a significant portion of their weight in a very short time — 10% or more.”

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The Israeli military estimates that around 240 people were forcibly taken to the Gaza Strip on October 7, with around a third released in exchange for the release of 180 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Quoted by the news site Ynet, in an interview published Monday, Dr. Margarita Mashavi of Wolfson Hospital — where many hostages passed through upon their release — indicated that those to whom she had spoken to him and told him about being held in the basement.

“We only gave them two hours of light” per day, she explained, in this interview since deleted from the site.

In solitary confinement


Patients told him that meals consisted of “canned rice, hummus and beans and sometimes cheese with bread, but nothing else.” No fruits or vegetables, no eggs.”

Subjected to several weeks of Israeli strikes, the Gaza Strip and its inhabitants are themselves largely deprived of supplies and the UN World Food Program (WFP) warned on Tuesday of a “high risk of famine”.

“Even when they asked for a pen or pencil to write to pass the time, the Hamas men refused for fear that they would pass on information. They were without television, without reading and therefore spent the time chatting with each other,” also indicated Dr. Mashavi.

Her employer refused to allow her to grant an AFP interview.

Esther Yaeli, grandmother of Etan, a 12-year-old French-Israeli boy released on Monday, told the Walla news site that the boy had been held in solitary confinement for 16 days. /p>

“The days he was alone were horrible,” she said. “Now Etan seems very withdrawn.”

Two hostages were hospitalized upon their release, including Elma Avraham, 84, who was rushed to hospital by helicopter and placed in intensive care. Initially saying they feared for his life “due to the lack of adequate care” for his age, doctors announced Tuesday that his condition had improved.

Hagar Mizrahi, responsible for the hostage file at the ministry of Health, told AFP that captives had been detained in “horrible conditions” with “clear medical consequences”.

She refused to say more, citing medical confidentiality .

“Some of the things I’ve heard over the last few days break your heart,” she simply explained, without going into detail. “They are monstrous in every way. »

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116