'I trusted my country and my army, and that gave me the strength to continue believing'

Corporal Ori Magidish, released in heroic rescue operation after 23 days in Hamas captivity, says 'knew' her country won't leave her behind and expresses willingness to return to military service
Corporal Ori Magidish, a lookout who was abducted to the Gaza Strip on October 7 and rescued after 23 days by the Shin Bet and IDF, met with donors from the United States on Thursday and recounted the events at her base on October 7.
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"There were many loud noises; we woke up to them, and all the girls and I ran to seek shelter. We said goodbye to our families over the phone, and after a while, we heard a lot of screaming and gunfire," she said.
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 אורי מגידיש
 אורי מגידיש
Ori Magidish (center) with her family shortly after having been released from captivity in Gaza
(Photo: Shin Bet)
"There were combat soldiers in the shelter protecting us with their weapons, but it wasn't enough. There were 20 of them and only four weapons. I was injured in my head, legs and chest by grenades the terrorists threw. There was a moment of silence, and then they entered and opened fire inside the shelter."
With her mother sitting beside her, Magidish shared, "Out of 20 girls, only seven survived the shooting, and I was one of them. We then waited there for another four hours. We didn’t know where the army was, but still hoped someone would come to rescue us. Nothing happened, and then we were simply abducted."
Magidish told the donors that five of her friends from the base were abducted to the Gaza Strip, and one of them was killed in captivity. "Noa Marciano was my best friend at the base. She was killed in captivity, and soldiers brought her body back," she said.
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נועה מרציאנו ז"ל
נועה מרציאנו ז"ל
Corporal Noa Marciano, murdered by Hamas in captivity
(Photo: Courtesy of the family)
One of the donors participating in the discussion asked Magidish what gave her strength while she was in captivity, to which she replied, "I am a person of faith. I believe in God; I know He exists.”
“When I was abducted, I felt He would save me. I prayed every day, not from a prayer book but from my heart. I felt the presence of my late grandmother, my grandfather and my cousin. I clung to them and believed I would get out, either through a deal or a rescue operation. I trusted my country and my army, and that gave me the strength to continue believing."
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נשיא המדינה יצחק הרצוג ורעייתו מיכל נפגשו עם אורי מגידיש שחזרה מהשבי
נשיא המדינה יצחק הרצוג ורעייתו מיכל נפגשו עם אורי מגידיש שחזרה מהשבי
Magidish meets with President Isaac Herzog
(Photo: GPO)
According to her, before being rescued, she felt that the security forces would arrive. "I can't explain it, but I knew they were coming that day and I knew they wouldn't leave me there. I was very moved when I saw them," she said.
Magidish expressed her willingness to return to military service. "It's very important for me to show them that I'm not giving up. I am strong and will return to the army soon. Twice a week, I go for therapy and I meet with my friends often," she added.
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