February 22, 2024

Following the release of 13 Israelis from Hamas captivity, Israeli news site N12 spoke with the families of those who returned to hear the stories their relatives have brought back from their time in Gaza. The families were given time to meet their loved ones immediately following their return to Israeli soil. They reported that the hostages had been provided food during their time in captivity. The hostages reported that they had not been tortured or physically abused although the amount of food they had been given was minimal and they were often left to cook the food themselves as well as the children they were with. They said how their final two weeks had seen supplies running low, often leaving them with not much more than pita and small amounts of rice to eat. Merav Mor Munder, the cousin of Keren Munder who was released on Friday, told N12 “There were days when there were no supplies, so they only ate pita bread. They were not tortured, but there were days when they barely had any food, in the last few days they only ate very little rice.” She says how one of the hostages, Hannah Katzir, who was also released, learned of her son’s murder on one of the few occasions they would be permitted to listen to Israeli radio. It was upon her own release that she learned of how her husband had also been kidnapped and remained in Gaza. Some of the hostages spoke of their worry about last-minute attempts by Hamas or Gazans, who had thrown stones at the vehicle removing them to Egypt, to attack them. “Until the last moment we weren’t sure, we thought they would lynch us on the way to Israel,” a hostage said.