‘I was nearly killed four times in Gaza,’ says freed captive

The newly-freed hostage said she was almost lynched by Gazan civilians and killed in an Israeli airstrike, besides escaping death on the days she was captured and rescued.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Rescued hostage Noa Argamani said she had four brushes with death from the day she was captured and through her eight months of captivity in the Gaza Strip, Channel 13 reported Sunday.

The first was on October 7th, when hundreds of the thousands of Hamas terrorists who invaded Israel turned the Nova dance festival into an arena of death, murdering more than 360 revelers and taking dozens hostage.

Taken from Hamas’ own footage of the event, Argamani’s picture was flashed around the world being hauled off to Gaza, screaming, on the back of a motorcycle driven by a terrorist.

She told her family that she was sure at that moment that she was going to die.

Then, when they reached Gaza, the motorcycle was surrounded by a mob of Palestinian civilians, and she believed that they were going to lynch her on the spot.

It took three months for another sign of life from her to appear. In January, Hamas made a propaganda video in which Argamani was featured along with two other hostages, Itai Svirsky and Yossi Sharabi.

Read  Hamas releases recording of hostage Noa Argamani

Argamani was forced to make a subsequent video in which she said that the men had died in an Israeli airstrike that had buried all three of them under an avalanche of rubble. Sharabi died immediately, but Hamas terrorists dug her and Svirsky out, she said, sounding as if she was reading from a script.

The IDF later confirmed both men’s fate, admitting responsibility for Sharabi’s accidental death but saying that Hamas terrorists had murdered Svirsky.

She now told her family that “I saw the missile entering the house. I was sure that I was going to die. After it hit, I thought, ‘That’s it,’ but then I realized that I was still alive.”

The fourth time she faced her mortality head on was during the Saturday rescue, when a team from the elite Yamam anti-terrorist police unit burst into the apartment in which she was being held and rushed her away under heavy fire, along with three other hostages who had been held in a building some 200 meters away.

Argamani told her loved ones that she had always been kept above ground rather than in one of Hamas’ dark, fetid tunnels, the fate that Israelis fear most of the hostages are undergoing.

When she was moved from time to time from one apartment to another, or was allowed outside briefly to breathe some air, she said they disguised her in the long robes that are the standard attire of Gazan women.

Read  'The Diamonds Are In Our Hands' - Details of daring hostage liberation revealed

Another detail she added was that her civilian captors allowed her to shower, albeit only at long intervals.

On a somewhat happier note, Argamani, who is extremely close with her father, said, “I prayed every day that I would be freed before Dad’s birthday,” and that is exactly the day she was reunited with him in Israel.

She also went immediately to visit her mother, Liora, who had begged the world to help get her daughter released before she died of brain cancer, and is now hospitalized in the final stage of her disease.

Although she could not communicate with her daughter, the director of Ichilov Hospital where Liora is being cared for, Prof. Roni Gamzu, told Ynet that the medical staff “estimate that yes, Liora understands the situation and Noa’s return.”