Released hostage Yocheved Lifshitz recounts her abduction: 'We walked kilometers underground, they beat me with sticks'

Lifshitz, 85, was released by Hamas together with Nurit Cooper, 80, after both were kidnapped during the massacre in Nir Oz on October 7; she spoke to reporters from Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv

Freed Gaza hostage Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, and her family members spoke to reporters on Tuesday afternoon at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, where she was taken Monday night after being released into Egypt.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
More stories:
Lifshitz was released from captivity by Hamas together with Nurit Cooper, 80, after both were kidnapped during the massacre in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7. They were first transported to Egypt through the Rafah crossing and then arrived in Israel. From the border they were taken by helicopter to Ichilov Hospital, where they were reunited with their families.
3 View gallery
 יוכבד ליפשיץ בבית החולים איכילוב, לאחר ששוחררה משבי חמאס
 יוכבד ליפשיץ בבית החולים איכילוב, לאחר ששוחררה משבי חמאס
Yocheved Lifschitz talks to journalists at Ichilov Hospital
(Photo: Moti Kimchi)
Both women's husbands are still being held hostage by the terrorists in Gaza. “Our heart is with my dad and all the captives that are still there,” said her daughter Sharone Luton. About 220 hostages, including women, children and elderly, remain in Gaza.
She pointed out that her mother only knows how up to 25 of the hostages were treated out, and noted that the fact that her mother now requires a wheelchair is an indication of what happened to her while in Hamas captivity.
Lifshitz thanked everyone present. "My name is Yocheved Lifshitz, born in 1938. Thank you for coming to hear about my tragedy and that of all my friends. It was difficult, and we hope we will get through it." She described the atrocities committed by Hamas in the kibbutz: "I went through hell, we didn't think and we didn't know that we would end up in this situation. They went on a rampage in our kibbutz, they kidnapped me - they laid me on my side on a motorcycle and flew with me through the plowed fields toward Gaza. They blew up the fence. They built a special electronic fence for $2 billion dollars and it didn't help anything. Crowds stormed our houses, beat people, and some were kidnapped, like me. There was no difference, they kidnapped old people and young people."
3 View gallery
 יוכבד ליפשיץ בבית החולים איכילוב, לאחר ששוחררה משבי חמאס
 יוכבד ליפשיץ בבית החולים איכילוב, לאחר ששוחררה משבי חמאס
Yocheved Lifschitz is reunited with her family at Ichilov Hospital
(Photo: Jenny Yerushalmi, Ichilov Spokesperson's Office)
Lifshitz described how the Hamas terrorists beat her after she was taken prisoner, and led her through the underground terror tunnels in the Gaza Strip. "I was lying on my side when they took me on the motorcycle, they beat me with sticks. They didn't break my ribs, but they hurt that area a lot and it made it very difficult for me to breathe. It was like that until we got to the tunnels, and there we walked for miles under the wet ground. They looked like spider webs. We started walking in the tunnels, where the ground was damp and there is moisture all the time and we arrived at a large hall where 25 people gathered. After two or three hours they separated five from my kibbutz, Kibbutz Nir Oz and put us five in a separate room," she told reporters in a nationally televised appearance.
Despite the abuse she suffered when she was abducted and taken to Gaza, Lifshitz testified that the terrorists tried to keep the hostages healthy, a message that Hamas is clearly trying to portray to the world. "When we got there, first of all they told us that they believed in the Koran and that they would not harm us. They would give us the same conditions as they have. We were closely guarded. A medic and a doctor also arrived and made sure that they would send us more or less the same pills."
Lifshitz noted that "we were divided according to kibbutzim. They took care of all our needs." She said they ate the same food that the terrorists ate. She points out that the terrorists had medicines and toiletries stockpiled for them; this indicates a level of preparation by the terrorists for the taking of hostages.
Lifshitz expressed her pain at the incompetence of the security system before the terrorist attack. "Hamas planned everything for a long time, they prepared everything we would need, including shampoo and hair conditioner. The lack of knowledge in the IDF and Shin Bet hurt us a lot. We were the government's scapegoat. The IDF did not take the balloons and the burning of the fields seriously," she said.
The director of the hospital, Professor Roni Gamzu, said that Lipshitz and Cooper "arrived and the primary goal was verifying their medical condition and giving them support. It is possible that during the next day or two at least one of the hostages will be released and one will continue for medical evaluation and completion of medical treatments."
3 View gallery
יוכבד ליפשיץ ונורית קופר החטופות ששוחררו
יוכבד ליפשיץ ונורית קופר החטופות ששוחררו
Yocheved Lifshitz and Nurit Cooper were released by Hamas
She also spoke with Yedioth Ahronoth's Nahum Barnea, and recalled the moment of the abduction 18 days ago: "They loaded me on a motorcycle sideways so I wouldn't fall, with one terrorist holding me from the front and the other from behind. They crossed the border fence into the Strip, and at first they held me in the town of Absan, near Nir Oz. After that, I don't know where I was taken."
The two kidnapped women, whose husbands are still being held hostage in the Gaza Strip, were been reunited at the hospital with their family members - and their medical condition is listed as "fine."
Eti Uziel, VP of nursing and head nurse at Ichilov Hospital on Monday night described the former hostages' reunion with their family members a "very, very exciting reunion. Right now they will be allowed to rest with their families and then we will give them a comprehensive physical examination and tomorrow we will know exactly what the situation is. Right now, for them and for the family members, the situation is very, very exciting."
Daniel Lifshitz, Yocheved's grandson, shared a photo of her with her family and wrote on his Instagram account: "I can't believe that Grandma Yochaka, who is like a mother to me, returned to us from the captivity of Hamas. I love this brave woman so much. A huge hero."
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.