Hostages lost 15% of their body weight doctors say

Lack of food and terrible living conditions contributed to the fast weight loss.

By Pesach Benson, TPS

Returned hostages being treated at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital showed “significant weight loss” from their time in captivity, a hospital official said on Wednesday.

“Both the children and the adults have lost weight nutritionally. In most of them, a significant weight loss of up to 15 percent,” said Professor Ronit Lubetzky, director of the pediatric unit at Ichilov’s Dana-Dwek Children’s Hospital.

Lubetzky said the food Hamas provided the captives was not optimal, “certainly not for the children, in combination with staying in a place without light.”

She said all of the children are undergoing nutritional assessments.

“It is not easy to be a child in captivity,” Lubetzky said.

Prof. Dror Mendel, director of the children’s hospital, medical institution said that most children will be released from the hospital in the coming days.

One girl, Mendel added, will require long-term care after undergoing an orthopedic surgical procedure.

“They are all very happy that they are free and show this joy and share with us a great many issues,” Mendel said.

Approximately 155 Israelis and foreigners are still being held in Gaza, including Kfir Bibas, who was 9 months old when he was taken hostage by Hamas along with his parents and 4-year-old brother from Kibbutz Nir Oz on Oct. 7.

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At least 1,200 people were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct. 7. Another 240 men, women, children and soldiers were taken back to Gaza as hostages. Some people remain unaccounted for as Israeli authorities continue to identify bodies and search for human remains.