NIn one of the first interviews with freed hostages, Ruti Munder, 78, told Israeli station Channel 13 this Monday that she spent all her time with her daughter, Keren, and grandson, Ohad Munder-Zichri, who celebrated his ninth birthday in captivity.
This report increases the amount of information about the experience of hostages detained in Gaza, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.
Munder was kidnapped on October 7th from her home in Nir Oz, a ‘kibbutz’ in southern Israel. Her husband, Avraham, also 78, was also taken hostage and remains in Gaza, while his son was killed in the attack.
Initially, they ate “chicken and rice, all kinds of canned food and cheese”, Munder explained to Channel 13. The adults started by drinking tea in the morning and at night and the children ate sweets.
But the ‘menu’ changed when “the economic situation was not good and people went hungry”.
Israel has maintained a tight siege on Gaza since the start of the war, leading to shortages of food, fuel and other basic items.
Munder, who was released on Friday, returned in good physical condition, like most of the other prisoners. But one of the freed hostages, an 84-year-old woman, was hospitalized in a life-threatening condition after failing to receive adequate care during captivity, according to doctors.
Most of the freed hostages have remained out of the public eye since their return and most details about their situation and experience in Gaza have come from family members who have visited them.
The elderly woman confirmed the reports of family members of other freed hostages, explaining that she slept on plastic chairs, covered with a sheet, although not everyone had access to one.
Also this Monday, the aunt of a 25-year-old Russian-Israeli hostage who was released from Gaza on Sunday, said that her nephew fled his captors and hid in Gaza for a few days, before being recaptured.
“He said he was taken by terrorists to a building. But the building was destroyed [por um bombardeamento israelita] and he managed to escape”, highlighted Yelena Magid, Roni Krivoi’s aunt, to Kan radio, noting that the escape lasted around four days.
Eitan Yahalomi’s aunt, Devorah Cohen, told the French press that her 12-year-old nephew was sometimes kept alone, but when he was with other people, his captors threatened him with a gun whenever the children cried, to keep them quiet.
“Hamas terrorists forced him to watch horror films, the kind no one wants to see,” he said.
Thanks to a truce in which Qatar was the main mediator, since last Friday, Hamas has been releasing daily around a dozen women and children sent to the Gaza Strip following the surprise attack on October 7, in exchange for the release of three times as many Palestinian prisoners, the majority of whom are women and teenagers.
Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7, following an attack by the Islamic group, which included the launch of more than 4,000 rockets and the infiltration of nearly 3,000 militants, who killed around 1,200 people and kidnapped more than 240 from communities Israelis near the Gaza Strip.
Since then, Israel’s air, naval and land forces have counterattacked in the Palestinian enclave, where more than 15,000 people have died, according to authorities in the Gaza Strip, controlled since 2007 by Hamas, most of them children and women, and It is estimated that more than seven thousand people are missing under the rubble.
Read Also: 30 Palestinian prisoners released on fifth day of ceasefire
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