Freed Israeli hostage says Hamas protected them during Israel's air strikes

Tal Goldstein-Almog, 9, Gal Goldstein-Almog, 11, Agam Goldstein-Almog, 17, and their mother Chen Goldstein Almog, 49, who were released from Gaza on November 26 pose for a photograph. (Photo/Reuters)

A freed Israeli hostage has said Hamas fighters protected her during Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

Chen Goldstein-Almog, 48, and her 17-year-old daughter Agam Goldstein-Almog along with young boys Gal, 11, and Tal, 9, were taken captive during a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7.

The four were set free under an agreement between Hamas and Israel last month, which saw the release of 81 Israelis and 24 foreigners in exchange for 240 Palestinians, including 71 women and 169 children.

Chen recounted that the hostages were staying somewhere behind a supermarket when Israeli airstrikes hit nearby.

"Our guards, our captors ... were on top of us, protecting us with their bodies from the strikes," Chen said. "We were very valuable to them," she added.

The Israeli woman recalled asking her captors if they were going to kill them, "and they would tell us: We will die before you."

"[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu wanted to overthrow Hamas, but if our forces killed the two Hamas guards who were with me, what would become of me?" her daughter Agam said.

"We have received answers for such questions here in Israel. Without our captors, we would have been killed by the fire of our own forces."

The Israeli army said on December 15 that its forces had mistakenly killed three Israeli hostages in northern Gaza. Nearly 130 Israeli hostages are believed to be still held by Hamas and other Palestinian factions in Gaza.

Israel has pounded Gaza since a cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7, killing at least 20,424 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 54,036 others, according to health authorities in the enclave.

Around 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins with half of the coastal territory's housing stock damaged or destroyed, and nearly two million people displaced within the densely-populated enclave amid shortages of food and clean drinking water.


Source: TRT