On October 7, Hamas gunmen invaded the home of Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, shooting her husband Oded in the hand before throwing her on a motorcycle and dragging her toward the Gaza tunnels, her son said. -son after his release.
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It was in the “very humid” and “very deep” maze of rooms and underground passages in the territory controlled by the Palestinian Islamist movement that the old lady met a man that few Israelis have ever seen in the flesh : Yahya Sinouar, leader of Hamas in Gaza, one of the alleged masterminds of the October 7 attack.
“She said she saw him and said: ‘Aren’t you ashamed? How can you not be ashamed to inflict these things on people who have fought all their lives for peace?’” , details his grandson Daniel Lifshitz in an interview with AFPTV.
“She said he remained silent.”
The Lifshitz family described their husband Oded as a fierce human rights defender who regularly collected sick Palestinians from Gaza and took them to hospitals in Israel.
Asked by AFP, Hamas refused to confirm that such a meeting had taken place.
Renowned as much for his discretion as for his commitment to armed struggle, 61 years old, has not appeared in public since October.
Ismaïl Haniyeh (left) in Gaza, March 27, 2017, sits next to Yahya Sinouar, who holds the child of a killed Hamas fighter on his lap. AFP/Mahmud Hams
The man the Israeli army describes as “death on borrowed time” spent 23 years in Israeli jails where he learned Hebrew. In 2011, he was exchanged with a thousand Palestinian detainees for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, hostage of Hamas for five years, then took charge of the movement in Gaza in 2017.
Yocheved Lifshitz was released at the end of October with another elderly woman, but her husband Oded, 83, remains captive.
Hamas says the two women were released on humanitarian grounds, but Daniel insists his grandmother might never have returned from Gaza.
“She contracted a stomach infection, she lost nearly 10 kilos, she would have died if she had stayed there,” he assures.
After the end of the truce Friday morning under which Israel and Hamas had exchanged dozens of Palestinian hostages and detainees imprisoned by Israel every day since November 24, the fate of the hostages remaining in the hands of Hamas or others armed groups in Gaza is uncertain.
What is certain for the old lady is that she has not seen her husband since the day of their kidnapping, according to Daniel.
“The last vision my grandmother had of him was when she was on the motorcycle. This is the image [qui lui reste]after 63 years of marriage.