Rescued hostages were beaten ‘almost every day,’ says doctor who treated them

Dr. Itai PESSACH says that captivity has ‘left an important mark on their health’, with muscle loss and damage to other body systems.

The doctor who is overseeing the recovery and release of four Israeli hostages from the Gaza Strip revealed Monday that the terror group Hamas had beaten them regularly while they were in captivity.

Itai Pessach, a doctor at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, told CNN that hostages were abused almost every day and that captivity had been “a very harsh experience.”

Pessach: “Every hour is a miracle, whether it is physical, mental or other types. It is hard to comprehend.”

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Noa Argamani was rescued from Hamas prison in Gaza on Saturday after eight months.

CNN reported that Pessach stated the eight-months the hostages were held in Hamas’s captivity had “left a substantial mark on their health,” even though they appeared to be in good condition.

He said that because they had not received enough protein, their muscles were extremely wasted. Other systems also suffered damage. The hostages said that food and water was inconsistent, that they had been moved around and had dealt with several guards.

Pessach stated that there were periods when they received almost no food. Pessach said that there were periods when it was better.

He elaborated on the psychological strain: “As the time passes, the hope of being freed kind of diminishes, and you start to wonder if it would ever end… Losing that faith is, I believe, where you reach the breaking point.”

Argamani and Meir Jan were taken from the Supernova Music Festival near Kibbutz re’im in the early morning hours of the 7th October, when Hamas terrorists took 251 hostages and killed 1,200 people during a rampage that spanned southern Israel.

According to the military, officers of the elite police counter-terrorism unit Yamam, together with Shin Bet agents, raided on Saturday morning two multi-story building in Nuseirat where four hostages held by Hamas affiliated families and their guards were being held.

Hamas’s government media claimed that at least 274 were killed during the operation. This figure is unverified and does not distinguish between combatants or civilians.

The IDF admitted that it had killed Palestinian civilians during the fighting. However, it blamed Hamas because it held hostages and fought in an environment with many civilians. “We are aware of less than 100 [Palestinian] victims.” I don’t even know how many are terrorists, said IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari on Saturday.