Yocheved Lifshitz, an Israeli who was released on Monday by Hamas militants, told reporters on Tuesday that she “went through hell” in Gaza.
Lifschitz, an 85-year-old grandmother, was held in Gaza for more than two weeks before being released and flown back to Israel late Monday evening.
“It was difficult, but we will get through this,” she said, recounting her experience to journalists outside Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center.
Speaking in Hebrew with her daughter translating, Lifchitz reported being kidnapped by Hamas gunmen during their October 7 terror strike on Israel.
“I was kidnapped on a motorcycle on my side while they were driving towards Gaza,” Lifschitz said. Her daughter explained how her head lay on one side of the motorcycle while her feet dangled from the other.
“It was a painful act. They brought us to a gate. I was lying on the side of the motorcycle. I got bruises because of the drive,” Lifshitz added.
Lifshitz’s daughter explained that her mother was taken down into a “huge network” of spider web-like tunnels and detained there.
Speaking further, she stated that her mother “wants to tell everybody what she knows” after being returned to Israel on Monday evening.
“The nurses said she’s very sharp and very communicative. And she wants to tell everyone what she knows. She wants to tell everyone what she knows. She’s really the first person that has been with other people there, and I think she’s very aware that she can pass on information,” she said soon after being reunited with her mother in Tel Aviv.
Lifschitz, an 85-year-old grandmother, was detained in Gaza for more than two weeks after Hamas militants kidnapped her from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz.
On Monday, Hamas released Lifshitz and her neighbour and friend Nurit Cooper, 79, and they were later reunited with family members who hurried to their bedside at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital.
When asked if she was being kept alongside other people in Gaza, Lifschitz’s daughter said, “Yes, she was with other people.” To some extent, there was medical treatment.”
She also revealed that there were children among the hostages.
“I know that she was with some children, it seems, and then she would have done quite a lot of work with them. I don’t think she kept kind of sitting in a corner,” she stated.