Relatives of freed Israeli hostages, and an official from Israel’s health ministry, told a parliamentary committee in the Knesset on Tuesday that Hamas drugged the hostages with tranquilizer pills before their release to make them seem happy and relaxed.
The Times of Israel reported Tuesday:
A Health Ministry representative tells the Knesset Health Committee that the hostages freed from Hamas captivity were given tranquilizer pills before being handed over to the Red Cross for transfer to Israel. The drugging would have aimed to make the hostages appear calm, happy and upbeat after suffering physical abuse, deprivation and psychological terror for more than 50 days in Gaza.
Dr. Hagar Mizrahi, head of the Health Ministry’s medical division, specifically names the drug Clonazepam. Known as Clonex in Israel and sold under the brand names Klonopin and Rivotril elsewhere, the drug is used to prevent and treat anxiety disorders, seizures, bipolar mania, agitation associated with psychosis, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Families of hostages speaking earlier to the committee were the first to raise the issue.
Hamas made propaganda films of the hostage releases, with some of the hostages telling Hamas videographers how well they had been treated. These claims were circulated throughout the Muslim world and were evidently treated as credible by many people.
More and more evidence has emerged of torture committed by Hamas terrorists against the hostages. The U.S. claimed Monday that Hamas was refusing to release additional female hostages for fear that they would talk about what they had endured. (Update: the Israel Defense Forces disagreed with that claim, according to the Times of Israel, calling it “irresponsible.”)
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.