The following article, Released Hostage Says She 'Went Through Hell' in Hamas' Vast Network of Tunnels, was first published on Flag And Cross.
The 85-year-old peace activist who was captured by Hamas and freed Monday said she “went through hell” after she was taken from her southern Israel kibbutz on the day Hamas raided Israel, killing more than 1,400 people.
Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, was released by Hamas along with Nurit Cooper, 79. Both were form the kibbutz of Nir Oz. A report in The New York Times indicated that only 200 of the roughly 350 to 400 people who lived in the kibbutz were left when the slaughter was finished.
“I went through a hell that we’d never imagined. They [Hamas terrorists] rampaged through the kibbutz,” she said as she spoke to the media at the Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, according to the Times of Israel.
“I was taken, with my legs on one side and my head on the other” of the motorcycle, Lifshitz said.
Along the way she was beaten with sticks, “not breaking my ribs” but “hurting me badly and making it hard for me to breathe,” she said.
Released Israeli hostage Yocheved Lifshitz described on Tuesday her “nightmare” kidnapping ordeal that included being thrown over the back of a motorcycle, beaten by sticks and held in a “spiderweb” of wet tunnels after she was abducted from a kibbutz in southern Israel.… pic.twitter.com/we7n6ApDGh
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 24, 2023
Her watch and jewelry were taken, she said.
Lifshitz criticized Israeli officials for relying upon a border fence and failing to recognize signs of an impending attack that included balloons setting fire to the fields of the kibbutz in the days prior to the attack.
“And the IDF, somewhere, didn’t take it seriously,” she said, adding, “We were the scapegoats for the leadership.”
“And suddenly on Shabbat morning, when everything was quiet, there was very heavy shelling on the communities, and along with the shelling, the mob burst in, burst through the [border] fence … opened the gate of the kibbutz and broke in en masse. It was very unpleasant, very difficult. My memory keeps replaying those pictures,” she said.
Her husband, Oded Lifshitz, 83, remains a hostage. The couple was described by the Times of Israel as “peace activists [who] regularly transported patients from Gaza to receive medical treatment in hospitals across Israel.”
Lifshitz said after being taken to Gaza, she had to walk through wet ground and went into an underground tunnel system she compared to a spiderweb, according to CNN.
“They really took care of the sanitary side of things, so that we didn’t get sick,” Lifshitz added.
“They were very generous to us, very kind. They kept us clean,” Lifshitz said. “They took care of every detail. There are a lot of women, and they know about feminine hygiene, and they took care of everything there.”
A Sky News reporter asked a freed Israeli woman: “Why did you shake hands with Hamas fighters when they freed you?”
Yocheved Lifshitz, who was released from captivity in Gaza yesterday, responded: “Because they treated us very well.” pic.twitter.com/U46he7hpq0
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) October 24, 2023
On Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari thanked Egypt and the Red Cross for facilitating the release of Lifshitz and Cooper, but had harsh words for Hamas and the video it released of the two women being freed.
“We must not become confused for even a moment. This is part of the psychological terror that Hamas uses to seemingly show that it is a humanitarian organization,” he said, according to the Times of Israel.
“It’s a cynical video, and it won’t make us forget Oct. 7,” he said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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