Yocheved Lifshitz, a grandmother, was taken from her home in the Israeli kibbutz of Nir Oz. She is one of two Israeli women who were released from Gaza on Monday
An Israeli woman held hostage by the terrorist group Hamas and released this week is recounting her ordeal, saying she "went through hell.”
Yocheved Lifshitz, an 85-year-old grandmother, was taken from her home in the Israeli kibbutz of Nir Oz and brought to an area near Gaza via a motorcycle ride and a walk through an underground tunnel system. Lifshitz was one of two Israeli hostages released by Hamas on Monday, CNN reports.
Speaking to reporters upon her release, Lifshitz said that she and the other hostages slept on mattresses within the tunnels, and survived on the same foods that the Hamas militants ate. She added that she and others received treatment from doctors during their incarceration.
“They really took care of the sanitary side of things so that we didn’t get sick,” Lifshitz said, per CNN.
Lifshitz also described the moment of the attack on Oct. 7, saying, “All of a sudden on a Saturday morning, everything was very quiet. There was a hard pounding on the settlement."
It was then, she added, that “hordes” of Hamas militants broke through the fences surrounding the kibbutz and began taking hostages.
“It was very, very difficult and unpleasant,” she said, according to CNN.
The other hostage released Monday has been identified by Israeli officials as Nurit Cooper. Both women were reportedly taken with their husbands, who have not been released.
Cooper and Lifshitz's release comes on the heels of the release of two American women — a mother and a daughter — freed last week.
The Americans, identified by news outlets as 59-year-old Yehudit Raanan (who also goes by Judith) and 17-year-old Nathalie Raanan, were placed in the custody of the Red Cross and then taken back to Israel.
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Reuters reports that Hamas claims it has around 200 hostages — a number backed up by Israel, which has said 222 hostages were taken during the terrorist group's deadly rampage on Oct. 7.
Some 1,400 people, including 31 Americans, have been killed in the Hamas attacks in Israel, while roughly 5,700 Palestinians have reportedly been killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza, per the Associated Press.
Just last week, President Joe Biden traveled to Israel to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, declaring that he wanted the people of Israel and the world “to know where the United States stands."
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