Female hostage was kept as domestic slave – report

Nineteen-year-old Liri Albag cleaned houses and subsisted on food scraps, reported the Daily Mail.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

At least one Israeli hostage was kept as a domestic slave rather than being thrown immediately into a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip on October 7, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

Nineteen-year-old Liri Albag was forcibly taken from her kibbutz, Nahal Oz, when some 3,000 terrorists invaded some two dozen agricultural villages, towns, and a dance rave, brutally murdered 1,200 and kidnapped 253 people, sparking the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Her family has not seen or heard from her since, they told the British daily in an interview.

They did reveal for the first time that some of the 86 Israeli hostages who were released in November in exchange for a week-long ceasefire and over 240 Palestinian security prisoners had told them that they had seen and talked to her.

They told the Albags that Liri had been forced to clean toilets for a family and cook food that she was forbidden to eat. She subsisted on scraps, and was permitted to take her first shower only after 37 days.

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She was not alone, at least for the first few days. The family had also held four other teens from the kibbutz – Naama Levy, Daniela Gilboa, Karina Ariev and Agam Berger.

The family received confirmation from the army, Albag’s mother, Shira, said, as soldiers had found the room in which they had been imprisoned. They found traces of blood in the room and identified the young women through their DNA.

The IDF released a photo of the room to the Daily Mail, and Shira’s reaction had first been a positive one.

“At first when I saw it, I was happy because she was in a child’s room,” Shira said. “There were kids’ clothes in the cupboard and it gave me a little relief that she wasn’t in a scary place.”

“But then,” she continued, “I understood that she is with a family – they kidnapped her, not Hamas. It’s the equivalent of me keeping someone else’s children locked in my house.”

Over a thousand civilians followed the Hamas fighters into Israel on October 7 in a second wave of murdering, kidnapping and pillaging the border communities.

The released women saw Albag only after she had been transferred to their location, and if her conditions were bad in the civilian home, they only got worse under direct Hamas control.

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“She was in a tunnel at that time, 40 meters under the ground, with no air, sunlight, a lot of humidity, no toilet, no water,” Shira noted. “She was drinking salt water from the sea and not much food. That was 112 days ago. From then, we have heard nothing.”

The interview took place on the holiday of Purim, which celebrates the miraculous rescue some 2,000 years ago of the Jewish people from a Persian vizier who had wanted to eradicate the nation from the half of the world that his king controlled.

Almog’s sister, Shay, said that history was trying to repeat itself.

“It is the same today,” she said. “Hamas wanted to kill us all on October 7.”

The family is hoping against hope that the latest hostage negotiations will bear fruit and they will be able to greet Liri at home in their personal, post- Purim miracle.