A woman who was held captive by Hamas and recently freed revealed in an interview that, initially, the hostages were well-fed, with meals consisting of chicken, rice, canned food, and cheese. However, as conditions deteriorated, they experienced hunger. The captives, including a 78-year-old woman named Ruti Munder, were confined to a cramped room, sleeping on plastic chairs with limited access to basic amenities. The situation became more challenging when the economic conditions in Gaza worsened, leading to shortages of food and other necessities.
Ruti Munder, who was abducted along with her husband and grandson on October 7 from their home in Nir Oz, a kibbutz in southern Israel, spent nearly 50 days in captivity. Her son was tragically killed in the attack. The hostages were initially provided with tea in the morning and evening, and the children received sweets. However, the living conditions became increasingly difficult over time.
Despite the challenging circumstances, Ruti Munder returned in good physical condition after being released, like most other captives. However, some freed hostages, including an 84-year-old woman, faced health complications due to inadequate care during captivity. Another released captive required surgery.
The captives, mostly women and children, slept on plastic chairs, with varying experiences reported, such as late-night conversations among boys and some girls crying. Ruti Munder described the room as “suffocating,” and the captives were not allowed to open the blinds, though she managed to crack open a window.
The interview with Ruti Munder provides insight into the experiences of hostages held in Gaza, as Israel and Hamas negotiated a truce involving the exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners. The truce also includes increased aid to Gaza. The conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted on October 7, resulting in casualties and hostage situations.
It’s noteworthy that the released hostages, mostly women and children, undergo physical and psychological tests at Israeli hospitals before returning home. The broader context of the conflict involves a declared war by Israel following a cross-border attack by the Islamic militant group Hamas. The conflict has led to casualties on both sides, with ongoing negotiations for a ceasefire and humanitarian measures.