Surviving “Hell,” the Trial of Former Hamas Hostages in Gaza

Israel 130 hostages would remain, 30 of whom would die HamasFor its part, it raises the number of hostages killed by “Israeli bombings” to 70.

“I was in hell, I was hungry, I was thirsty,” he says Aviva brandHe was held hostage Hamas In Gaza Strip. Like her, so do others Israeli ex-prisoners The Palestinian Islamic Movement tells of their ordeal while in custody, six months after the start of the war.

On the morning of October 7, SeagullAbout 60 years old, with round glasses and gray hair, she was with her husband Keith at their home in the Kafar Asa kibbutz near the border. Gaza. The fighters Hamas They broke into the house and abducted them.

For 51 days, the couple moved from tunnel to tunnel Gaza, under difficult circumstances. “They don't let us speak, we don't have the right to stand,” the woman, who was released in late November during a plea deal, explained to the AFP news agency.

250 people were abducted in the attack on October 7 Hamas According to an AFP tally based on official data, 1,170 people, mostly civilians, lost their lives on Israeli soil. More than 300 soldiers were among the dead.

More than 100 Hostages They were released at the end of November in an exchange with imprisoned Palestinian prisoners Israel, in the only ceasefire so far in the conflict. Five others left the deal earlier and two were freed in an Israeli military operation in mid-February.

According to Israeli officials, about 130 people were taken captive GazaAt least 34 people are believed to have died.

“After 8 days, they removed the bullet from my leg and operated on me. The care was poor, despicable, inhumane. When I came here, IsraelI had complicated infections,” he said shortly after his release.

“Permanent Fear”

Israeli military operations in the Palestinian territories in response to the attacks have so far caused more than 32,900 deaths, mostly women, adolescents and children, according to the health ministry. Gazagoverned by Hamas Since 2007.

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Many of the hostages who managed to escape spoke of the “hell” they lived through Seagullwhose husband is a prisoner Gaza.

“Even if I explain to them what HostagesYou can't imagine what they're going through (…) I'm back from hell,” explained Mia Regev, an Israeli who was released at the end of November after fifty days of captivity. Gaza.

The 21-year-old woman was gunned down on October 7 when nearly 40 people were kidnapped at the Nova electronic music festival. “After 8 days, they removed the bullet from my leg and operated on me. The care was poor, despicable, inhumane. When I came here, IsraelI had complicated infections,” he said shortly after his release.

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Doran Katz-Asher, who was wounded by gunshots and kidnapped with her two daughters, Ross (4) and Aviv (2), said she was cured “without anesthesia with needles and thread”.

In an interview on Israeli channel N12, Katz-Asher spoke of the “constant fear” that almost all former hostages experience. “10 of us in a 12 square meter room without a bed, with a sink and water bottles (…), my daughters had a fever.”

“You sleep, you cry, nothing happens, every day is an eternity, it's very scary,” said Daniel Aloni, who was released with his five-year-old daughter.

For women, one of the worst concerns is the fear of being raped.

Amit Souzana, 40, abducted from his home in the Kfar Aza kibbutz, described the sexual abuse he suffered during his captivity in a lengthy interview with the New York Times. “He fired at me and forced me to perform sexual acts on him,” she said.

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Aviva Siegel was held hostage by Hamas in Gaza for 51 days. | Source: AFP

“Crying is forbidden”

At this time, no other former hostages testified to acts of sexual violence, but Aviva brand Talked about the situation of the kidnapped girls: “They turned these girls into toys so they could use them as they wanted.”

“I am a witness, I saw a girl tortured (…) I want to return to protect them, I saw what the girls did,” he added.

“As a woman, the fear of being raped or sexually assaulted is constant, you have no way to defend yourself, resistance is life-threatening, and this fear never leaves you,” explained Yarden Roman-Gott in Con 11. Channel.

For abducted mothers with children, the fear is even more intense.

“Crying or laughing or talking loudly (…) was forbidden, you can't teach a four-year-old child to cry quietly,” said Hagar Brodetz, who was abducted with three children between the ages of four and ten.

“The kids were hungry,” he recalls. “I don't want any mother to beg for food for her children,” she added. (AFP)

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