Freed hostage says Hamas kidnapped family ‘even though we are Arabs’

A relative, Youssef Ziyadne 48, showed heroism when he rescued 31 Nova music festival attendees into his 14-seater van and managed to escape Hamas gunfire.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Bilal Ziyadne, 18, a Bedouin hostage freed along with his sister, Aisha, describes how Hamas kidnapped his family even though they were Arabs.

He recounted to Channel 13, “I told them we were Arabs. They said to us, even though we’re Arabs, they’re kidnapping us.”

Bilal and Aisha are the only two members of their family who have been freed so far.

Hamas also kidnapped Bilal’s older brother Hamza and his father Youssef, who are still being held in Gaza.

Bilal reported that during his captivity, he and his sister had no idea there were other hostages taken.

The Bedouin family were treated better than the Israeli hostages because the family members were kept together, were given mattresses, blankets, and pillows to sleep on, and were given “normal food. Bread, beans, tomatoes, falafel, things like that.”

Freed Israeli hostages have reported being separated from relatives, kept in dark tunnels, and sleeping on cold, hard floors with only meager rations of pita and rice and salty and sandy water to drink.

Bilal said the Ziyadne family feared airstrikes more than Hamas terrorists and didn’t realize the seriousness of the conflict, “We didn’t think the war would take that long. It felt like such a long time, we prayed to be freed.”

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He added, “I’m scared for those who are still there… I feel and I know what they’re going through.”

The four members of the Ziyadne family were taken hostage when they were working on kibbutz Holit.

One relative, Abdul Ziyadne, 29, was killed by Hamas terrorists on October 7th when he was camping on Zikim beach, and his body had been shot so many times, that it looked as if it had been “smothered” by bullets.

Another relative, Youssef Ziyadne 48, managed to rescue 31 Nova music festival attendees in his 14-seater van and managed to escape Hamas gunfire.