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Freed Israeli Hostage Yocheved Lifshitz Says She Was Treated Well by Hamas Captors

HeadlineOct 24, 2023

Hamas has released two Israeli civilians held hostage in Gaza. On Monday, a Hamas spokesperson said 79-year-old Nurit Cooper and 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz had been let go for “humanitarian reasons and poor health grounds.” Hamas shared video showing armed fighters releasing the elderly hostages to Red Cross officials. Just before the video ends, Lifshitz reaches back to shake the hand of one of her captors, saying “Shalom,” the Hebrew word for “peace.”

Earlier today, Lifshitz spoke to reporters in Tel Aviv, describing a harrowing scene as she was kidnapped and driven off to Gaza on a motorbike with two Hamas fighters, then forced to walk for miles through a network of underground tunnels. Once in Gaza, Lifshitz says her treatment improved. She says she was seen by a doctor, fed well, and had the opportunity to wash. Lifshitz’s daughter Sharon translated her remarks to reporters.

Sharon Lifshitz: “My mom is speaking about the time there. She’s telling us about sharing food with the people, that the people, when she first arrived, they told them that they are Muslims and they’re not going to hurt them, and that they shared — they ate the same food that the Hamas was eating.”

Israeli believes about 220 other hostages remain in Gaza, including the husbands of both women. Hamas has now released a total of four women.

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