Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, was taken from Israel on Oct. 7 alongside her 83-year-old husband Oded, who still remains held inside the Gaza Strip.
Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, was seen turning back to one of the masked gunmen handing her to Red Cross employees at Gazah’s Rafah Crossing more than two weeks after she was beaten and abducted during a slaughter at her kibbutz.
Video of the exchange showed her reaching out her hand and wishing him “shalom,” a Hebrew word meaning “peace” often also used to say goodbye.
Asked at a press conference Tuesday why she took the terrorist’s hand, Lifshitz generously claimed that “they were gentle with us, our needs were supplied” — despite describing the horrors she was put through.
However, that was a far cry from her description of how she was abducted as the terrorists slaughtered people at Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7, with her 83-year-old husband Oded among those still being held hostage.
“They went berserk in our kibbutz,” she recalled, saying she was beaten with a stick and forced to walk several kilometers through Hamas’ network of tunnels.
“We never thought we’d reach such a state,” Lifshitz, said.
She told how a “swarm” of terrorists broke through a two-and-a-half billion shekel security gate and “stormed our homes.”
“They hit people,” Lifshitz recounted at the press conference. “They did not care about kidnapping [the] elderly and children. It was extremely painful.”
Lifshitz said she was hauled onto a motorcycle, with her head on one side and her legs hanging off the other.
As they traveled, Lifshitz said, the terrorists beat her with a stick.
“They didn’t break my limbs, but it was extremely painful for me,” she said.
Once they arrived at the vast tunnel network Hamas uses in Gaza, Lifshitz said they walked for a few kilometers on the wet ground before they arrived at a large hall where about 25 other hostages were being held.
“When we got there, they told us they believe in the Quran and will give us the same conditions they have,” Lifshitz said, noting that a doctor came every two to three days to check on the hostages, and a paramedic was also on the scene to provide them with medicine — and to make sure they did not get an infection from their injuries.
“They were friendly in their way,” she said.
“They made sure that we eat the food they ate: white cheese and cucumbers — that was the meal for the whole day.”
She added that she keeps “having those images in my mind.”
Lifshitz was finally released from captivity Monday night, along with her neighbor Nurit Cooper, 79.
Abu Ubaiba, a military spokesman from Al-Qassam Brigades that operates in the West Bank, claimed Hamas was willingly releasing the two women despite Israel’s refusal to stop its airstrikes against the terrorist group.
“We have decided to release them for compelling humanitarian and satisfactory reasons despite the occupation committing more than 8 violations of the procedures that were agreed upon with the mediator brothers that the occupation would adhere to during this day to complete the handover process,” the spokesman said on Telegram.
The elderly women were later seen in footage released by Hamas being escorted to the border, with the terrorists apparently offering them water.
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