Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

JERUSALEM — Plastic chairs as beds. Meals of bread and rice. Hours spent ready for the lavatory. As former hostages return to Israel after seven weeks of Hamas captivity, details about the situations of their confinement has emerged.

The 58 hostages freed beneath a cease-fire deal over the previous three days have largely stayed out of the general public eye, with most nonetheless in hospitals.

Learn Extra: What to Know In regards to the Launch of Hostages

Almost two months after Hamas militants dragged them into Gaza throughout a bloody cross-border assault on Israel that additionally killed 1,200 individuals, most freed hostages look like in secure bodily situation.

Details about the situations of their captivity has been tightly managed, however members of the family of the launched hostages have begun to share particulars about their family members’ experiences.

Merav Raviv, whose three kin had been launched by Hamas on Friday, mentioned they’d been fed irregularly and had eaten primarily rice and bread. She mentioned her cousin and aunt, Keren and Ruth Munder, had every misplaced round 7 kilograms (15 kilos) in simply 50 days.

Raviv mentioned she’d heard from her freed members of the family that they’d slept on rows of chairs pushed collectively in a room that appeared like a reception space. They mentioned they generally needed to wait hours earlier than going to the lavatory.

Adva Adar, the grandchild of 85-year-old launched hostage Yaffa Adar, mentioned her grandmother had additionally misplaced weight.

“She counted the times of her captivity,” Adar mentioned. “She got here again and she or he mentioned, ’I do know that I’ve been there for 50 days.’”

Adar mentioned that her grandmother was taken captive satisfied that her members of the family had been useless, solely to emerge to the information that they’d survived. Nonetheless, her launch was bittersweet: She additionally came upon that her home had been ravaged by militants.

“For an 85-year-old girl, often you’ve your home the place you raised your youngsters, you’ve your reminiscences, your picture albums, your garments,” mentioned Adar. “She has nothing, and in her outdated age she wants to begin over. She talked about that it’s powerful for her.”

Within the 50 days for the reason that hostages had been taken captive, Israel has devastated the Gaza Strip with a floor and air offensive that has killed at the very least 13,300 Palestinians, in response to the Well being Ministry within the Hamas-ruled territory. Beneath the present four-day cease-fire, Hamas has agreed to launch a complete of fifty Israeli hostages in alternate for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian safety prisoners and ramping up assist to the pummeled enclave.

Eighteen international nationals, largely Thais, have additionally been launched.

Learn Extra: Right here’s What to Know About Hamas’ Thai Hostages

Eleven extra hostages are set to be launched Monday on the final day of the cease-fire, leaving near 180 hostages within the Gaza Strip. Israeli authorities have mentioned that they’re keen to increase the truce sooner or later for each 10 hostages launched by Hamas.

The fullest picture but of life beneath Hamas captivity was conjured by 85-year-old Yocheved Lipschitz, a hostage who was freed earlier than the present cease-fire. Upon her launch, Lipschitz mentioned she had been held in tunnels which stretched beneath Gaza “like a spider internet.” She mentioned her captors “informed us they’re individuals who consider within the Quran and wouldn’t damage us.”

Lifshitz mentioned captives had been handled effectively and acquired medical care, together with medicine. The guards saved situations clear, she mentioned. Hostages got one meal a day of cheese, cucumber and pita, she mentioned, including that her captors ate the identical.

The lately freed hostages additionally appeared to have been held underground. Eyal Nouri, the nephew of Adina Moshe, 72, who was freed on Friday, mentioned his aunt “needed to modify to the daylight” as a result of she had been in darkness for weeks.

“She was in full darkness,” mentioned Nouri. “She was strolling along with her eyes down as a result of she was in a tunnel. She was not used to the daylight. And through her captivity, she was disconnected … from all the skin world.”

Nouri mentioned that Moshe did not know that she was going to be launched till the final second.

“Till she noticed the Pink Cross,” he mentioned. “That is the second when she realized, okay, these horrifying seven weeks are over.”

She emerged to the information that her husband had been killed by the militants and her son’s household had miraculously survived.

Medical doctors have warned of the steep psychological toll of captivity. Israel has made counseling and different help obtainable to those that have been launched.

However many of the freed hostages have seemed to be in good bodily situation, in a position to stroll and converse usually.

However at the very least two wanted extra critical medical care. One hostage launched Sunday, 84-year-old Alma Abraham, was rushed to Israel’s Soroka Medical Middle within the southern metropolis of Beersheba in life-threatening situation.

The hospital’s director mentioned she had a pre-existing situation that had not been handled correctly in captivity. One other younger feminine hostage was on crutches in a video Hamas launched Saturday. The lady grimaced at her captors as she entered a Pink Cross automobile bringing her out of the besieged enclave.

Yair Rotem, whose 12-year-old niece, Hila Rotem-Shoshani, was launched Sunday, mentioned he needed to hold reminding her she didn’t have to whisper.

“They at all times informed them to whisper and keep quiet, so I hold telling her now she will increase her voice,” mentioned Rotem. He added that Hila, who will have a good time her thirteenth birthday on Monday, slept effectively throughout her first evening again in Israel and has an urge for food.

Ohad Munder, Raviv’s nephew, was surrounded by associates quickly after his launch, as they celebrated his ninth birthday a month late with ice cream and pizza in a hospital ward.

Ohad’s good friend, Eitan Vilchik, informed Israel’s Channel 13 that his good friend was “emotionally sturdy” and already in a position to reply their questions on what he ate and what occurred to him whereas he was in captivity. However Ohad’s associates refused to share particulars, saying they wished to respect his privateness.

Vilchik mentioned lecturers have canceled Munder’s homework necessities however his associates will assist him make up the topics he missed at school.

He mentioned Ohad was nonetheless in a position to remedy a Rubik’s dice in lower than a minute.

—Related Press author Melanie Lidman contributed reporting from Jerusalem.

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