A mother of Andrey Kozlov, one of the four hostages who were rescued alive from the Gaza Strip by Israeli troops last week, said that speaking to her son again “was simultaneously difficult and joyful, wonderful and terrible”.

“For a few minutes, I probably didn’t know how to react”said Evgeniia Kozlova, cited by the Reuters news agency. “But then I started laughing. And since then I haven’t stopped laughing. I’m absolutely happy.”

The woman revealed that the first conversation she had with her 27-year-old son was a mixture of feelings, having been “simultaneously difficult and joyful, wonderful and terrible, because he was in enormous emotional turmoil”.

“He was crying and laughing, and I was laughing too. We were comforting each other,” he recalled.

Despite being held hostage by the Islamist group Hamas for more than eight months, Andrey always believed he would be able to return to Israel. However, he refuses to talk about some of the ordeals he went through during the kidnapping.

“Andrey told us: ‘There are things I will never tell you’. I don’t know what he didn’t tell us and what he doesn’t want to tell us”he said, adding that he only knows that “they were forced to follow some very strange rules”.

“You couldn’t sit with your legs facing the terrorists. You couldn’t do this and you couldn’t do that”, he stated, exemplifying that the hostages could “be punished for fetching the wrong water or for fetching it from the place wrong”.

The hostages were also frequently insulted by Hamas guards, who “liked to tell them: you’re an animal, you’re an ass, you’re an idiot, you’re dirty.” “Now, Andrey knows these words in Arabic perfectly, everything that concerns swear words in Arabic he learned well”the mother joked.

It should be noted that the Israeli Army announced, on Saturday morning, the rescue of four hostages alive in two locations in the Nuseirat refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip.

In addition to Andrey Kozlov, Noa Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, and Shlomi Ziv, 40, were released. All had been kidnapped by Hamas during a music festival on October 7, 2023, when the conflict broke out.

Since the start of the war, Israel and Hamas only reached a week-long truce in late November, which allowed the release of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners.

Read Also: Israel announces end of operation in central Gaza that freed hostages

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2579525/mae-de-refem-israelita-resgatado-recorda-reencontro-dificil-e-alegre

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