Rescued Israeli hostages beaten ‘almost every day’ in Hamas captivity

Rescued Israeli hostages beaten ‘almost every day’ in Hamas captivity

The Israeli hostages who were rescued at the weekend were beaten while in Hamas captivity and left malnourished by a lack of food, the doctor in charge of their treatment has revealed.

“It was a harsh, harsh, experience, with a lot of abuse, almost every day,” Dr Itai Pessach told CNN at the Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan outside Tel Aviv. “Every hour, both physical, mental, and other types, and that is something that is beyond comprehension.”

Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv, 41, were all kidnapped from the Nova music festival in southern Israel on Oct 7 and taken to Gaza.

According to Dr Pessach, the hostages were moved on several occasions and kept under the watch of different guards. The supply of food and water was unstable and there were periods where they got almost no food at all.

“They had no protein, so their muscles are extremely wasted, there is damage to some other systems because of that,” he said.

He added that the “combination of the psychological stress, malnutrition” as well as “medical neglect, being limited to space, not seeing the sun” had all had a significant effect on their health.

Dr Pessach, who also treated some of the hostages released in a ceasefire deal back in November, said the psychological damage of the four freed this weekend was more intense due to the length of time they were held in captivity.

“As time passes, hope of being released kind of decreases and you start wondering if this would ever end… losing that faith, I think, is where you get to the breaking point,” he said.

The hostages have so far revealed snippets of their ordeal through family and friends and short comments to the Israeli press.

Ms Argamani said that she nearly died in an Israel Air Force missile strike, Channel 13 reported.

“I saw the missile enter the house; I was sure I was going to die,” she recounted to her family members. She added: “I thought that was it – but I stayed alive.”

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