An 85-year-old Israeli woman, who had been abducted by Hamas for a two-week period, has revealed that she was physically assaulted during her kidnapping but was treated well during her captivity in the Gaza Strip.
Yocheved Lifshitz, who was released on Monday, along with another elderly woman, 79-year-old Nurit Cooper, was freed on “humanitarian” grounds through a mediation process involving Qatar and Egypt.
She mentioned that once in Gaza, her captors treated her and the other captives relatively well, providing them with the same food they ate and even arranging for a doctor to provide medical assistance. She expressed gratitude for the way they were treated during their captivity.
When asked on Why did she shake hands with the Hamas fighters when they released her? She replied, “Because they treated us very nicely.”
Lifshitz, who resides in the Nir Oz kibbutz near the Gaza Strip, expressed her belief that Israel’s military had underestimated the threat posed by Hamas, and she felt that the expensive security fence did not provide effective protection.
While Israel has stated that its primary goal in the conflict is to “eliminate Hamas,” various world leaders and Israeli families have stressed the importance of securing the release of captives, including French nationals. French President Emmanuel Macron, during his visit to Israel, emphasised that the release of captives should be the top priority. US President Joe Biden has similarly indicated that negotiations for a ceasefire would be considered only after the release of all captives.
Many Israelis hope that the Israeli government will prioritise the release of captives as the most important objective in the current situation.