JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Slowly but surely the freed hostages are beginning to tell the horrors that they endured during their captivity in Gaza.Join our WhatsApp group
Subscribe to our Daily Roundup Email
12-year-old Eitan Yahalomi, who was kidnapped from Nir Oz to Gaza without his family, was returned to Israel Monday night after 52 days in Hamas captivity.
His grandmother, Esther, spoke to Ynet from Ichilov hospital where her grandson is being cared for: “For the first 16 days, he was alone and even in a closed room. Imagine for yourselves what he went through there. To my great joy, they transferred him about a month ago to a group of people from Nir Oz, and it was much easier for him there. First of all, his caregiver from the nursery, from the children’s home, was there. It was good for both her and him. He came back thinner, not smiling. But it seems to me that physically he is healthy.” Esther also described: “I can still feel the first hug, it was strong, it was great. I had a lot of hope all this time, I didn’t lose heart, I knew Eitan would come back and the army gave him back to me.”
Esther said that Eitan is a “very reserved” child, and explained that “I believe it will take him time, we have a lot of work to do with him to get him back to a state where he can speak. During the day, he calmed down a bit and his friends came from Eilat and made him very happy.” The grandmother also said that “despite everything Eitan went through, he discovered his wonderful character in captivity, and this is from the stories of mothers who were there. He helped the little children, drew with them, hugged them and made sure they were well.”
Eitan’s aunt said this morning that he had “experienced horrors” at the hands of Hamas terrorists, who among other things beat him, forced him to watch footage of the massacre they carried out on October 7, and threatened him and the other children they kidnapped with guns when they cried.
The aunt, Devora Cohen, told the French news channel BFMTV that “Hamas-ISIS terrorists made him watch the horrors they committed. The entire video from October 7. Every time a child cried, they threatened him with a gun. Civilians there beat him. He’s 12 years old. Maybe it’s naive but I thought he would be treated well there but they’re monsters.”
She added that: “Eitan’s father is also still in captivity, how can you feel good after experiencing something like this? I give Eitan a big hug. He still has a long way to go.”
Hamas made 12 year old captive Eitan Yahalomi watch footage from the October 7th massacre.
Hamas held a gun to his head when he cried.
Civilians beat him when he arrived in Gaza.
— Israel ישראל 🇮🇱 (@Israel) November 28, 2023
Eitan was reunited Monday night with his mother, Bat Sheva, with his little sister Yael, 10, and with his baby sister. Eitan’s father, Ohad, who defended his family on the morning of the massacre on October 7, was shot by the terrorists and was also kidnapped. He is still being held in the Gaza Strip.