Hostages, Israel-Gaza War

Beyond anything you could ever imagine: How Hamas treats our hostages

Israeli hostages were psychologically tormented and physically abused at the hands of their Hamas captors.

Released hostages Andrey Kozlov and Almog Meir arrive at the Sheba Medical Center, June 8, 2024. (Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

Almog Meir Jan, Shlomi Ziv, and Andrey Kozlov, recently rescued by Israeli forces, endured horrific physical and psychological abuse during their eight months in Hamas captivity in Gaza.

The Wall Street Journal reported harrowing details of their experience, based on accounts from their relatives and Israeli security and medical officials.

Their hands were tied behind their backs for 2 months, after which their hands were tied in front of them. Held in a single dark room for six months, they had no contact with the outside world apart from their captors.

They also faced severe punishments for not adhering to strict orders, including being locked in bathrooms and buried under blankets in the intense heat. They reported that their captors were trying not to leave any physical marks on them, while still ensuring that they were suffering.

As reported by the BBC, their captors informed them that Israel had forgotten about them and viewed them as a problem. They also repeatedly threatened them with death.

Although the hostages appeared to be in good spirits when they were rescued, Dr. Itai Pesach, who treated them at Sheba Medical Center, attributed their cheerful demeanor to the adrenaline from their dramatic rescue. He said that the hostages had been beaten almost daily and suffered from fluctuating weight and malnutrition.

At one point, the hostages were allowed to watch Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel and saw footage of a hostage rally in Tel Aviv. Almog Meir Jan saw his face on a poster, which happened to coincide with his birthday (May 11). Although fleeting, this critical moment of respite gave him renewed hope.

Relatives of the hostages have been advised not to delve into the details of their captivity, and security officials have requested discretion from the hostages and their families regarding their experiences.

It is likely that more details will emerge with time.

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