Tales of Captivity and Resilience Emerge as They Return to Israel

Tales of Captivity and Resilience Emerge as They Return to Israel

Irregular meals, makeshift beds, and harrowing experiences have come to light as former hostages return to Israel after a seven-week ordeal in Hamas captivity. The 58 released hostages, part of a cease-fire deal, remain mostly out of the public eye, with many still hospitalized.

Details from family members reveal the challenging conditions endured during captivity. Merav Raviv shared that her relatives, Keren and Ruth Munder, lost around 15 pounds, primarily subsisting on irregular rice and bread meals. They slept on rows of chairs pushed together in a room resembling a reception area and faced long waits for the bathroom.

Adva Adar recounted her 85-year-old grandmother Yaffa Adar's weight loss and the emotional toll of believing her family was dead, only to discover they had survived. Yaffa returned to the news that her house had been ravaged by militants, adding another layer of hardship.

The hostages' release comes amid a four-day cease-fire, with Hamas agreeing to free a total of 50 Israeli hostages in exchange for Israel releasing 150 Palestinian security prisoners and increasing aid to Gaza. While 18 foreign nationals, mostly Thais, have also been released, 11 more hostages are expected to be freed on the cease-fire's last day.

The revealed conditions of captivity vary. Yocheved Lipschitz, an 85-year-old freed hostage, described being held in tunnels under Gaza, treated well by captors who provided medical care. Hostages received one daily meal of cheese, cucumber, and pita.

Eyal Nouri detailed how his aunt, Adina Moshe, had to adjust to sunlight after weeks in darkness within tunnels. Moshe, unaware of her imminent release, realized the ordeal was over upon seeing the Red Cross.

Despite warnings about the psychological toll of captivity, most freed hostages appear physically well. However, at least two required serious medical attention, highlighting the broader impact of the traumatic experience.

As the returned hostages begin their journey to recovery, Israel offers counseling and support, recognizing the challenges they may face in rebuilding their lives after such a harrowing ordeal.

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