Freed Israeli hostage says she met Hamas leader in a tunnel where she was held in dire conditions


JERUSALEM (AP) — A 72-year-old Israeli woman held hostage by Hamas militants for nearly 50 days told an Israeli TV channel on Wednesday that she was kept in a dark, damp tunnel, where she met the Hamas leader And helped him cross. Spent the time with an informal lecture series by his knowledgeable fellow hostages.

Adina Moshe was taken prisoner on October 7 from Kibbutz Nir Oz, a village badly affected by communal farming. He was freed in late November. as part of a deal In which about 100 hostages, mostly women and children, were released in exchange for a temporary ceasefire and the release of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

His account on Israeli Channel 12 TV comes at a time when efforts are underway to bring a new deal Which can free the remaining 100 or more prisoners. It also sheds new light The difficult conditions the hostages faced While in Hamas captivity, where Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar met Moshe and a group of fellow hostages in the underground.

“Hello. How are you? Everything okay?” Moshe said that Sinwar spoke to him in the Hebrew language he had learned during his long captivity in Israel. He said the hostages had their heads bowed and did not respond. Another visit took place three weeks later, he said.

Moshe said terrorists attacked Home he shared with her husband, davidWho was shot in the leg. They pulled her out of the window of the safe room of her house and another terrorist went back to shoot her husband, she said. Before being killed, she said, he gave her a farewell kiss.

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He was then taken to Gaza on a motorcycle with two armed militants. She said one of them painfully pulled an earring from her ear and took it off before he could swing the other one. He took all her jewelry and a passerby stole her glasses, she said.

Moshe and a group of other hostages were taken into Hamas’s extensive tunnel network, where they walked for five hours down five underground flights through dark and airless shafts until they reached an underground room, where they were It was told that he would be released in the coming days.

“We trusted them. We believed this would be the first thing Israel would do,” she said.

It took about 50 minutes until he was freed.

“I told everyone, ‘We will stay here for at least two months, not because of Hamas,'” he said.

Moshe spent his days with other hostages – men, women and children – while standing armed guard. He ate small portions of canned goods and rice, which decreased over time, he said. The room was lit only by a small LED light.

He said that to pass the time, three male hostages, including a Jewish history buff, a film expert, and an Arabic speaker, offered to lecture other captives. When it became too difficult to listen to lectures about the Holocaust, they moved on to the persecution of Spanish Jews in the Middle Ages, another topic that was much harder to process under the circumstances. Three people are still in captivity.

Moshe, who speaks some Arabic, said she asked the gunmen to lower their rifles, saying they were holding a child captive, and they agreed. She also asked to be able to walk through the tunnel, saying that her heart condition required it, and they also agreed to this. On one of those trips he encountered two male hostages who were held in cells because, he said, they had fought against the militants.

From this depth, he did not hear Israel’s heavy bombardment. But she said she could tell they were happening because it felt like the tunnels were moving.

During the interview, Moshe was trembling and started crying. She said she was horrified by photographs released by the military of the tunnels where she believed her fellow hostages were taken.

“I feel like some of them are no longer alive, because I know they’re no longer where I was,” she said. “They took them from there. I have seen the pictures.”

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