Freed Israeli hostage briefly escaped Hamas after airstrike, says relative | Israel

todayNovember 27, 2023 2

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One of the Israeli hostages freed on Sunday briefly escaped captivity to hide in the Gaza ruins, it has emerged, amid fresh details of the conditions Hamas’s prisoners were kept in.

Roni Krivoy, 25, who was kidnapped while working as a sound engineer at a music festival attacked by Hamas, and who has dual Israeli-Russian citizenship, escaped the building where he was being held after it was damaged in an Israeli airstrike.

According to his aunt Yelena Magid, Krivoy was being kept in a residential building. “Due to the bombings, the building collapsed and he managed to escape the rubble and break free,” she told Israeli media.

“For a few days, he was hiding alone,” Magid said, as she described a half-hour long conversation with her nephew after his release as part of a deal negotiated between Israel and Hamas.

Krivoy, who suffered a head injury during the collapse of the building, had intended to try to reach the Gaza border fence, she added, but did not know where he was inside the territory and was eventually found by Palestinian civilians who returned him to Hamas.

“He tried getting to the border. He did not have the capacity to understand where he was and where he needed to go, so he could not navigate the open field. He was alone,” said Magid.

“I asked him today: ‘How are you feeling? Do you have nightmares?’ He answered: ‘Yes, I have nightmares from the party and captivity, but that is good, it means I am handling it well.’”

Released hostages have begun to give accounts of their time in captivity. Some have described using plastic benches without mattresses for beds, eating meals of bread and rice, and often having to wait hours for toilet breaks.

The 58 hostages freed under a ceasefire deal over the past three days have largely stayed out of the public eye, with most still in hospitals.

Elma Avraham, 84. Photograph: Hostages And Missing Families Forum/Reuters

While most are reported to be in good physical condition, one released hostage, 84-year-old Elma Avraham, is in a critical condition in hospital after her release on Sunday. Her daughter accused Hamas of neglecting Avraham’s medical condition.

“My mother didn’t deserve to return like this,” said Tali Amano. “[She] was medically neglected … She arrived with a heart rate of 40 bpm and a body temperature of 28C, on the verge of losing consciousness and injured all over.”

Also among those released over the weekend were three generations of the Munder family. Nine-year-old Ohad Munder, who was released with his mother Keren and grandmother Ruti, described his captivity to a relative who said he had “learned a few new words in English and Arabic” during his ordeal.

“The conditions they were held in weren’t good. They slept on plastic benches – 80 year olds – without a mattress,” said a relative.

Ohad Munder, nine. meets with his family members after he returned to Israel.
Ohad Munder, nine. meets with his family members after he returned to Israel. Photograph: Schneider children’s medical centre/Reuters

One of Ohad’s school friends, Romi Dor, who spoke to him after his release, told the website Walla News that Hamas had brought other children to play with Ohad while he was being held captive and that he had managed to keep a diary. The diary was later discarded by his mother for safety.

In video footage released by the family, Ruti Munder told how she had learned that her son Roy had been killed in the Hamas attack on the Nir Oz kibbutz while listening to the radio in captivity.

The accounts of a number of the freed hostages have made clear that family members were not necessarily held together and that many were not aware of what had happened to their relatives during the 7 October attack.

In one scene from the footage, a family member discloses that her father, Avraham, aged 78, was still being held hostage in Gaza, to which Keren Munder replies: “So he wasn’t murdered.”

Another relative, Merav Raviv, described how Keren and Ruti Munder had each lost around 7kg (15lb) in weight in just 50 days.

Yaffa Adar, 85, right, is reunited with her family after being held hostage.
Yaffa Adar, 85, right, is reunited with her family after being held hostage. Photograph: X

Adva Adar, the grandchild of the released hostage Yaffa Adar, 85, said her grandmother had also lost weight. “She counted the days of her captivity,” Adar said. “She came back and she said, ‘I know that I’ve been there for 50 days.’”

Adar said that her grandmother was taken captive convinced that her family members were dead, only to emerge to the news that they had survived. Still, her release was bittersweet: she also found out that her house had been ransacked by militants.

“For an 85-year-old woman, usually you have your house where you raised your kids, you have your memories, your photo albums, your clothes,” said Adva Adar. “She has nothing, and in her old age she needs to start over. She mentioned that it is tough for her.”

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Written by: Soft FM Radio Staff

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