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Israeli hostages returning from Hamas captivity tell of starvation and horrific abuse

Red Cross accused of neglecting hostages: 'Why are they there if they don’t do anything?'

Released Israeli hostage Eitan Yahalomi welcomed by his mother in Israel, Nov. 27, 2023 (Photo: Photo courtesy of the IDF Spokesperson)

Israeli women and children held hostage by the Hamas terror organization in Gaza since Oct.7 are beginning to reveal the details of their hellish captivity in Hamas’ terror tunnels and the images emerge that amount to torture, according to Nadav Eyal, columnist at Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth news outlet.

“We are starting to hear details from the hostages, and they describe what amounts to torture. I am not going to detail everything we hear, just what was published by the families themselves,” Eyal wrote on X on Tuesday.

The horror stories include the abuse of Israeli children by Hamas militants and regular Gazan civilians.

“A 12-year-old, kidnapped alone after his father was shot, was beaten by Gaza residents and forced at gunpoint by Hamas to watch videos of their murder spree and massacres,” Eyal wrote.

Twelve-year-old Eitan Yahalomi, who was released from captivity on Monday night, "was not only beaten and forced to see videos of mass murder, he was kept completely alone,” according to the journalist.

“The Hamas terrorists forced him to watch films of the horrors, the kind that no one wants to see, they forced him to watch them,” his aunt told French TV.

Hamas had the full cooperation of Gazan civilian residents in committing their atrocities.

“When he arrived in Gaza, all the residents, everyone, beat him. He is a 12-year-old child,” the aunt said.

Another young hostage, Emily Hand, who turned 9 years old during her captivity in Gaza, only whispers now when she speaks.

“The most shocking, disturbing part of meeting her was she was just whispering, you couldn’t hear her. I had to put my ear on her lips,” her father Thomas Hand said. “She’d been conditioned not to make any noise.”

The 9-year-old girl, held hostage for 50 days, thought she had been in captivity for a year.

The elderly hostages could be seen having visibly lost weight during captivity, due to being starved.

“The Israeli Health Ministry reports that elderly women kidnapped by Hamas lost between 8 to 15 kg (17 to 33 pounds) on average, amounting to starvation.

These testimonies, and those to come, indicate Hamas committing war crimes and the torture of children and adults who, in some cases, lost their families during the slaughter of Israelis by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Comparing the release of Palestinian prisoners, who enjoyed internationally lawful conditions including regular ICRC visits, to 3-year-old girls who witnessed their parents' murder and were held against their will, is either a case of severe misinformation or sheer malice,” Eyal wrote in X.

The indifference and negligence of the International Red Cross towards the Israeli hostages being held in Gaza is also coming to light.

Elma Avraham, the 84-year-old grandmother who was abducted from her home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz on Oct. 7 and freed on Sunday evening, was in critical condition when she returned to Israel and remains hospitalized.

“They abandoned my mother from a health perspective,” said her daughter Tal Amano said of the Red Cross.

“My mother didn’t have to return like this. It was neglect during her entire period there. She didn’t receive her lifesaving medications. She was abandoned twice, once on October 7 and a second time by all the organizations that should have saved her and prevented her condition.”

Elma’s son brought his mother’s medication to a meeting with the Red Cross but was coldly rejected.

“They said no,” said Amano. “We can’t.”

The family even tried to give the medications to the Red Cross at a rally outside the organization’s Tel Aviv office but with no success.

“We need to yell at the Red Cross,” said Amano. “Why are they there if they don’t do anything?”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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