Ex-Hamas hostage completes IDF training ‘with honors’

“Today, I finish the course with a feeling of victory,” says Noga Weiss, who was held hostage in the Gaza Strip for some 50 days.

By World Israel News Staff

A young woman who was held hostage in the Gaza Strip and released in November recently completed a training course in the Israeli army with honors.

Noga Weiss, 18, was kidnapped alongside her mother, Shiri, from their home in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7th.

They were released in a brief ceasefire and hostage exchange deal, after being held captive in the Strip for some 50 days.

Her father, Ilan, who left the house to defend their community from the terror onslaught, was murdered by Hamas terrorists. His body is still being held in the coastal enclave.

Although she would have been granted an exemption from army service due to her ordeal, Weiss decided to draft to the IDF in May.

Before her induction, Weiss told Walla, “there were times when I thought I’d never serve in the army.”

After a long process of weighing the decision, she said that she felt that skipping her army service would be letting the terrorists win.

“I understood that I wanted to beat [Hamas], for myself” by joining the army, she continued.

Weiss recently completed a training course for the position of welfare officer. She will be responsible for helping soldiers are aware of their rights within the military and other concerns related to their wellbeing.

“Today, I finish the course with a feeling of victory,” she said.

“I’m excited for what to come, and feel that I’ve positively influenced other soldiers.”

In April 2024, Weiss spoke to Hebrew-language Channel 12 News about her time being held hostage.

She recounted how her captor had proposed marriage, terrifying her and her mother.

“He gave me a ring on day 14 [in captivity], and I stayed with him until day 50,” she said..

“He told me, ‘Everyone will be released, but you will stay here with me and have my children.’”

When asked how she responded, Weiss said “I pretended to laugh so he wouldn’t shoot me in the head.”