“No Fruit, No Vegetables, No Sunlight”: How Hamas Treated Its Hostages

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More than 160 hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 are still in the Gaza Strip.

Rishon LeZion, Israel:

Malnourished, solitary confinement — details are emerging of how hostages were treated when Hamas attacked southern Israel.

More than 50 Israeli women and children have been freed since a deal brokered by Qatar and Egypt began on Friday, including at least 17 Thais, along with several foreign nationals.

More than 160 hostages taken by Hamas on October 7 are still in the Gaza Strip.

None of the hostages who were freed at the reconciliation table spoke directly about the circumstances of their capture.

Hospitals have been ordered to refrain from releasing details of the situation, saying the reports could harm those still in custody.

But details are slowly emerging from medical professionals treating them, as relatives — who often demand that the Israeli government ensure that all hostages are freed — are providing increasingly alarming accounts of their treatment and hardship.

Ronit Seidenstein, head of the medical team treating the 17 released Thai nationals at Shamir Medical Center, said they were fed “very malnourished food” while in detention.

“People who come to us lose a significant amount of body weight in a short period of time – 10 percent or more.”

In an offline interview, Dr. Margarita Mashavi, at Wolfson Medical Center — one of the main facilities caring for the freed hostages — said the people she spoke to kept many stories underground.

“They didn’t give them light. They only gave them two hours,” she told Net News on Monday.

‘Too removed’

The patients told her her diet was “rice, canned hummus and fava beans, and sometimes salty cheese in a pita, but no more than that. No fruit, no vegetables, no eggs.”

Food supplies in the Palestinian Authority have been depleted during the war, and the World Food Program has warned of “widespread starvation”.

“When they asked them to write with a pencil or pen to pass the time, they did not allow the Hamasites because they could not read and read without having a television for fear of transmitting information in writing. Time is just to talk to each other,” Mashavi said.

She referred an AFP interview request to her employers, who declined.

Ethan Yahalomi, the grandmother of 12-year-old French-Israeli boy Ethan Yahalomi, who was released on Monday, told the Walla news website that he had been held in solitary confinement for 16 days.

“It was terrifying when he was alone,” she says. “Ethan seems very isolated right now.”

“The sound of the bombs hurt him, his ears stopped for too long,” Yali said.

The rescued hostages arrived later in the evening, and were immediately assessed for any immediate medical needs.

Two of the freed hostages were hospitalized after their release, including 84-year-old Elma Avraham, who was under intensive care but doctors said Tuesday that her condition had improved.

Hagar Mizrahi, head of the Israeli Ministry of Health’s operation to return the hostages, told Agence France-Presse that they were being held in “terrible conditions” and that “the consequences of the treatment are clear.”

She declined to comment, citing patient privacy concerns.

“Some of the things I’ve heard in recent days are heartbreaking,” she added, without elaborating. “They are simply disgusting in every way.”

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



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