‘I watched hostage rallies on TV, saw my family’ – Freed captive

Almog Meir Jan said he was “deeply moved” to see Israelis advocating for his freedom.

By World Israel News Staff

Almog Meir Jan, who was freed by the IDF with three other hostages in a rescue operation on Saturday, revealed more details about his time in captivity to his family.

According to a Ynet report, Jan told his relatives that he had seen television broadcasts about large rallies in favor of a hostage deal, and that he was “deeply moved” to see people at the demonstrations holding signs with his name and picture.

He added that he had even seen clips of his family members speaking to news outlets and fighting for his freedom.

Notably, Jan recounted that Hamas terrorists had forced him to film a propaganda video on his birthday, which apparently was never released to the public.

He added that he had been able to keep a journal while in captivity, and would make daily entries in order to keep track of how long he’d been in captivity.

Andrey Kozlov, who was held alongside Jan for eight months, also said that he had written in a notebook in order to mark the passage of time.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with the freed hostages, said that each day Kozlov would write “podorok” – which means gift in Russian – in the notebook.

This way, Netanyahu explained, Kozlov reminded himself that each day alive is a gift.

Kozlov, who had immigrated to Israel from Russia just a few months before his kidnapping, told President Isaac Herzog in a phone call that he learned Hebrew during his time in the Gaza Strip.

“I had plenty of time to practice Hebrew with my friends Shlomi [Ziv, who was also held captive] and Almog [Meir Jan],” he said, laughing.

Orit Jan, the mother of Almog Meir Jan, told Mako that the three men had grown close during the time they were held together.

“They bonded very much. You see the hug between them, the connection between them,” she said.

“It is a very deep bond, a bond that will last a lifetime.”

Hebrew-language media reported that the hostages told staff at the hospital that they had been subject to intense emotional abuse by their captors, along with attempts at “brainwashing,” such as forcing them to read the Quran and study Islamic law.