Yocheved Lifshitz, one of the two hostages recently freed by Hamas, has described her ordeal after being abducted by the Palestinian militant group in the deadly October 7 attack.
Describing the experience as “hell”, she recalled her daughter kneeling by the side of her wheelchair when the gunmen on motorbikes broke into their home in kibbutz Nir Oz.
The 85-year-old grandmother said, “It was difficult but we will get through this” at a news conference at a Tel Aviv hospital where she has been recovering since freed.
Hamas released Lifshitz and her neighbour and friend Nurit Cooper, 79, on Monday. They were reunited with their family members who rushed to the hospital in Tel Aviv.
Lifshitz’s grandson Daniel, who learned the news of her release while staying at a hotel in Eilats along with other evacuees from Nir Oz, said, “She’s talking, she can walk, she can hug her grandchildren … It is incredible that we see her.”
More than quarter of Nir Oz community are either dead or remain missing the attack by Hamas, which killed more than 1,400 people in barbaric raids, triggering Israeli reprisals that resulted in tensions in the whole Middle East.