Freed hostage nurse says captives in Gaza ‘living on borrowed time’

Nili Margalit describes hostages still in Gaza suffering from Parkinson’s disease, renal failure, and cardiac problems without proper medication or care. 

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

In a letter to the war cabinet leaked to the press, nurse Nili Margalit, a freed hostage, declared that captives remaining in Gaza are “living on borrowed time.”

After being taken hostage on October 7th, Nili Margalit, a nurse at Soroka Hospital’s children’s ward in Beersheba, quickly became the caretaker of many other hostages, many of whom were over the age of 75.

In her letter, Margalit describes hostages still in Gaza suffering from Parkinson’s disease, renal failure, and cardiac problems without proper medication or care.

Nili and her father Eliyahu, along with 70 others from Kibbutz Nir Oz were taken hostage.

A day after her release on November 30, the IDF announced that her father Eliyahu had died in captivity.

Nili describes the harrowing experience of captivity, “We were in the tunnels, in tough to impossible conditions.”

The hostages were “underground,” Nili continued, “with little oxygen, sporadic electricity, sometimes we would go whole days in the dark with only the most basic food of rice or pita once or twice a day.”

In addition, poor sanitation caused many abductees to experience severe gastrointestinal problems.

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Advocating for the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza, Nili Margalit described them as “living on borrowed time.”

The nurse was mentioned in the testimony of one of the first hostages to be released, Yocheved Lifshitz, who spoke of how the nurse was caring for other hostages.

Although the older women among the hostages were released during the week-long ceasefire, including Elma Avraham, who was in critical condition but has improved, many of the elderly men among the abductees remain in Gaza.

At a support rally for hostages still held by Hamas, a video was shown of released hostage Margalit Moses’ testimony describing how she coped in captivity after Hamas took her oxygen machine.

The 77-year-old from Kibbutz Nir Oz requires an oxygen machine to sleep at night and brought it with her when she was taken hostage until terrorists took it from her.

“One of the terrorists who got mad at me, took the device from me even though I told him it was my oxygen. I spoke to him in Arabic and he understood the meaning but he didn’t care.”

Although a doctor gave her instructions on how to breathe while sitting up and holding her head back against a wall, Margalit Moses said, “I could only breathe, but I couldn’t fall asleep. I didn’t fall asleep for 49 days.”