Israeli hostages face ‘punishment’ during eight months of Hamas captivity, family says



CNN

One’s family The hostages were rescued in an Israeli operation He claimed over the weekend that he suffered psychological abuse at the hands of his Hamas captors during the eight months he was held in Gaza.

Andrey Kozlov, 27, was rescued along with Noah Arkamani, Almok Meir Jan and Shlomi Ziv. Attack on Nusirat Refugee Camp Saturday in central Gaza. It was the third Israeli operation to rescue hostages in Gaza, which was celebrated in Israel. But it left a trail of devastation, with at least 274 Palestinians killed in an attack by authorities in Gaza, followed by gunfire with Hamas militants.

Kozlov and the others were housed in two civilian buildings in a densely packed area. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the two buildings were raided simultaneously for fear that the captors would kill some of the hostages if they learned of an operation.

A Russian citizen, Kozlov immigrated to Israel almost two years ago. On October 7, he was working as a security guard at the Nova Music Festival when he was kidnapped and taken to Gaza.

In an interview with CNN, Khoslow’s family revealed few details of their son’s ordeal, which he initially believed had been sent to kill him by the Israeli forces that saved him.

Kozlov’s father, Mikhail Kozlov, said his son was “very scared” because Hamas militants had been falsely claiming for months that “Israel wants to kill them all” and that “they are a problem for Israel.”

“He was told that Israel wanted to kill him. He did not understand why the IDF had come. He was afraid that the IDF had come to kill him. It took him a while to realize that they had come to save him.

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Michael said his son would not reveal all the ways he was mistreated, adding that “he was not seen as a human being by them.”

“I would say they will punish him for any behavior they deem wrong,” he said.

“One of the examples that Andre gave us … they would cover him with blankets during the hottest part of the day,” he said.

“It’s a very tough test. You have to be dehydrated in the heat.

“They didn’t try to leave,” said his brother Dimitri [physical] Scores … but they will still punish him one way or another. Mostly for trivial things.”

“He was told not to speak in Hebrew, you must whisper [even that] in English.”

Describing their reunion, Michael said: “The first meeting was very touching… We were expecting a lively meeting and some happiness, but instead, he got down on his knees and broke down in tears, which really touched us.”

Dimitri feels indebted to his brother Israel. “He says that because he has done nothing, he does not understand what he has done for this generosity. Therefore, he feels obliged to pass this benefit on to others and to help others. [hostages] out.”

Manual by Israeli Army/Reuters

27-year-old Kozlov was among the rescued hostages.

While four hostages have been rescued, 116 people remain in Gaza since the October 7 attacks, 41 of whom are believed to be dead.

Mikhail said he was in favor of freeing the remaining hostages by any means – through negotiations or further military action.

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“If it’s a deal, if a deal helps free them, so be it,” he said. “If such an action can be taken again, it should be an action to free these hostages. We must use any means to return these people to their families.

The doctor responsible for treating the four Israeli hostages rescued Saturday said they were beaten while being held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

“It’s a harsh, harsh, experience, a lot of abuse, almost every day,” Dr. Itai Pessach told CNN. “Every hour, physical, mental and otherwise, it’s something incomprehensible.”

Bezak said the eight months in captivity “left a significant mark on their health” and that, despite initially appearing in good condition, they were all malnourished. “They don’t have protein, so their muscles are very wasted, and so there’s damage to some other systems.”

He said the hostages had been moved several times to deal with different guards. Food and water supplies are unstable.

“There were times when they had almost no food, and there were other times when it was a little better, but overall, it was a combination of psychological stress, malnutrition or not getting enough food or the right kind of food, medical neglect, being confined to space, not seeing the sun and all these other things. Have a significant impact on health.

The testimony is the latest insight into the conditions in which Hamas hostages are being held inside. Other hostages have previously outlined their experiments.

Keren Munder, her mother and her 9-year-old son — many of the hostages released under a temporary ceasefire last year — endured days with pita bread to eat, according to her cousin Merav Mor Raviv.

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Both Munder and his mother lost between six and eight kilos.

Another hostage, 72-year-old Adina Moshe, endured “terrible” conditions while in captivity, according to her son-in-law, who said she had no access to basic amenities such as showers.

Israel launched its war in Gaza following Hamas attacks on October 7, in which militants killed around 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostage. Since then, the Israeli campaign has killed more than 37,000 people, sparking a humanitarian crisis, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

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