85-year-old Yocheved Lifschitz, one of the two hostages released by Hamas on Monday evening, October 23, spoke at a press conference held at the hospital where he was being treated in Tel Aviv. Lifschitz talked about his experiences while he was held hostage.
According to Reuters news agency, Lifshitz said that ‘the Israeli army did not take the Hamas threat seriously enough’. Explaining that he was beaten by Hamas members while he was taken hostage and taken to Gaza on October 7, when the attacks and clashes began, Lifschitz said that he was “treated well” during the two weeks he was held hostage.
Describing how he was kidnapped from the ‘kibbutz’ where he lived by armed and motorcycle-riding Hamas members, Yocheved Lifschitz stated that he ‘experienced hell’. Lifschitz said that they entered Gaza through a gate and that the motorcycle ride caused bruises on his body, and that he had difficulty breathing during this time.
Pointing out that the Israeli government spent billions on the border fence, the woman said, “But this did nothing to stop Hamas,” according to the BBC. Lifschitz’s daughter, Sharone, who was translating during the press conference, also stated that her mother was forced to walk several kilometers on a wet ground after being taken off the motorcycle.
‘THEY SAID THEY WON’T HARM ME’
Lifschitz also talked about Hamas’ underground tunnels and compared them to a ‘spider web’. Explaining that her mother’s watch and jewelery were also taken, Shrone said that when her mother got off the motorcycle, the people who greeted her told her that ‘they believed in the Quran and therefore they would not harm her’. Then, Lifschitz and the 24 people with him were taken to the tunnels, where they walked on ‘soft and wet ground’.
‘THERE WERE ON DUTY, A HEALTH WORKER AND A DOCTOR’
Lifschitz said that two or three hours later, five people from the Nir Oz kibbutz were taken to a separate room. According to Lifschitz, there were also guards, a paramedic and a doctor at the place where he was held. Explaining that they were kept in a ‘clean’ place, the woman stated that they slept on mattresses laid on the floor. A doctor came to visit them every 2-3 days. Accordingly, the paramedic also brought medicine when they needed it.
‘THEY ATE THE SAME THINGS AS US’
Lifschitz, who said that there was a guard waiting for every five hostages, explained that those who held him hostage “paid attention to every detail” and that “women who were knowledgeable about women’s hygiene” were also included in this. Lifschitz said that while they were held hostage in the tunnels in Gaza, they were brought cheese and cucumbers to eat, and Hamas members ate the same things as them. Lifschizt’s daughter, Sharone, also said her mother felt “the story wasn’t over until everyone came back.”