“Hope All Will Return…”: Rescued Israeli Soldier,19, Welcomes Release Of Hostages

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The 14 Israeli hostages were returned to Israel on Sunday.

Tel Aviv, Israel:

An Israeli soldier who escaped from the Gaza Strip welcomed her on Monday in her first public comments since her release.

Ori Megidish, 19, was working at a monitoring station on the Gaza border when she was captured by Hamas on October 7.

Her rescue was confirmed three weeks later by the Israeli military, but no information was available about her captor or the operation to free her.

In a relaxed video filmed at her home and posted on her TikTok account, she said, “I’m fine” and “happy to see all the moving clips of the hostages back to their families.”

“I hope that all the families who are still waiting for the return of their hostages can be united and able to celebrate as I did. I hope that with God’s help they will all be returned.”

Fourteen Israeli hostages were freed on Sunday, the third day of a four-day truce with Hamas, in which a total of 50 Gaza hostages were freed in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners.

“We’re in our hands. They’re safe, they’re doing well and they’re smiling,” Inbar Goldstein said after her mother-in-law, Chen Goldstein-Almog, 48, was released with three of her four children. Gal, 11 and Tal, eight.

On October 7, Hamas militants invaded southern Israel, killing 1,200 people, killing civilians and abducting about 240. The children’s father, Nadav, and their older sister, Yam, were taken to Gaza with the rest of the family.

“They know about the terrible tragedy that happened to their family in that Black Shabia,” she said in a statement released by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

“Now we’re taking a moment to take a deep breath, to truly smile again, to pick up the pieces, and to keep fighting until the last one is captured and safely returned to us.”

American teenager

Israel has been hit by a massive military campaign since the October 7 attack, which has killed nearly 15,000 people, two-thirds of them women and children, by Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

Negotiations to extend the ceasefire in the fighting and return more hostages continued Monday.

The strain on one family continued as 84-year-old Elma Avraham was taken to Soroka Hospital in the southern region of Beersheva immediately after her release, where doctors said she was in a “critical condition”.

Shlomi Kodish, the head of Soroka Hospital, said: “She has been treated in the emergency room for severe neglect by Hamas for the past several weeks.”

The elderly artist was kidnapped from the Nahal Oz Kibbutz.

Another of the freed hostages was Abigail, a dual citizen whose parents were killed on October 7 and whose case has been highlighted by US President Joe Biden.

In a brief statement via her family’s forum, the family confirmed that the four-year-old girl in captivity – is safe at home – but asked for time and privacy for her to recover.

“She’s in the hospital right now and she’s been checked out and taken care of,” said aunt Ella Moore. “I just want to say she has a family and we’re taking care of her.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is from a syndicated feed.)

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