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A hostage testimony – and the braids that female soldiers braided for her in Hamas captivity

Members of the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad release Israeli hostages to the Red Cross, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Nov. 28, 2023. (Photo: Flash90)

One of the hostages released as part of the deal with Hamas was filmed on the night of her release wearing braids.

On Israel's KAN news, it was revealed today (Monday) that the hostage, aged 17, told an IDF officer after her release that the female soldiers who were with her in captivity were the ones who braided her hair on the day of the release and added: “They took care of us.” Her testimony confirms the information that female soldiers were held in captivity together with civilian Israeli women. 

The medical team of the Abducted and Missing Families Forum published a difficult report yesterday on the abuse that the hostages underwent in captivity, based on the testimonies they provided.

The document detailed physical torture, such as isolation, separation from parents and family members, and imprisonment in tunnels and small spaces.

The report also described how the hostages were threatened with guns, beaten with fists, how their skin was burnt by fire and how children were exposed to terror films.

In terms of sexual violence, the hostages revealed that men and women suffered violent sexual assaults while in captivity. 

113 hostages had been released over the course of seven days as part of the deal with Hamas last month.

137 people still remain in captivity while 20 were killed and their bodies are still in the hands of the terror organization.

After the seventh day, Hamas decided not to continue with the release of the hostages and opened fire on Israel. In response, the IDF resumed the fighting in Gaza and thus ended the week-long lull. 

Carmela Menashe is military reporter on IDF issues for KAN 11.

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