Released hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, said Tuesday she “went through hell” during her abduction by rampaging Hamas terrorists, being moved though a “spiderweb” of muddy tunnels before starting more than two weeks as a captive in Gaza.
AFP reports Lifshitz was a resident of Nir Oz kibbutz, one of the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip which Hamas militants brutally attacked on October 7.
Some 180 of the kibbutz’s 400 residents were killed or abducted in the raid which left mass rape, torture and the slaughter of civilians in its wake.
Lifshitz is one of only four hostages to be released — and the first to speak publicly — of the more than 220 Israeli and foreign nationals believed held by Hamas.
“I went through hell, I didn’t think or know I’d get to this situation. They went on a rampage in our kibbutz, kidnapped me, lay me over a motorcycle… and sped off with me through the ploughed fields,” she said a day after her release.
WATCH: Protest in Tel Aviv by Families of Israeli Hostages Demanding Their ReleaseJoel B. Pollak / Breitbart News
En route to captivity, she says she was beaten with sticks, “not breaking my ribs” but “hurting me badly and making it hard for me to breathe.”
“They treated us well,” she told reporters at a Tel Aviv hospital, explaining a doctor visited her and fellow hostages every two to three days and provided medicines.
The terrorists removed her watch and jewelry and then forced her to walk through muddy fields before reaching a tunnel network, which she described as similar to “a spiderweb,” the AFP report sets out.
The Times of Israel recorded her thoughts on what happened next:
Once in captivity, Lifschitz says, she passed through a tunnel and arrived in a large hall where about 25 other hostages were gathered. (Some 220 hostages are believed to be held in Gaza in total.) “They told us they believe in the Quran and would not harm us, that they would give us the same conditions as they have in the tunnels,” she says of her captors.
After about 2-3 hours, she and about 4 other hostages from Kibbutz Nir Oz were taken into a separate room.
“A medic and a doctor came,” she says. They were put on mattresses. The doctor returned every couple of days, and the medic arranged for medicines. “The treatment towards us was good,” she says, describing how the medic treated another of the hostages who was injured. She says her captors made sure the conditions were sanitary. “They cleaned the toilets, not us,” she says. “They were afraid of contagion.”
Lifshitz described her captors as “very friendly” and “very courteous” people who held her with four other captives, AFP set out.
“They seemed ready for this, they prepared for a long time, they had everything that men and women needed, including shampoo,” she told journalists.
“We ate the same food they did — pitas with cream cheese, melted cheese, cucumbers. That was a meal for an entire day,” said Lifshitz.
The octogenarian was released along with fellow Nir Oz resident Nurit Cooper, 79, three days after an American woman and her daughter were freed.