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Freed hostage says she was held in 'spider's web' of Gaza tunnels

"I went through hell," says Yocheved Lifschitz, an 85-year-old grandmother and peace activist released by Hamas on Monday after two weeks in captivity.

Ms Lifschitz and her husband were kidnapped by Hamas gunmen on motorbikes and taken into a "spider's web" of tunnels underneath Gaza, she said.

She described being hit by sticks on the journey, but said most of the hostages were being "treated well".

She was freed alongside another woman, Nurit Cooper, 79, on Monday evening.

Extraordinary images show the grandmother shaking the hand of a Hamas gunman, just seconds before she was escorted to an ambulance by the International Red Cross who drove her back into Israel.

"Shalom," she appears to say to the gunman - the Hebrew word for peace.

Ms Lifschitz was kidnapped, alongside her husband Oded, from Nir Oz Kibbutz in southern Israel on 7 October. He has not been released.

It was early in the morning when Hamas attacked their kibbutz, massacring the small community. One in four residents are believed to have been killed or kidnapped, including many children.

Speaking at a news conference from Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv just a few hours after her release, Ms Lifschitz explained what happened after she was kidnapped.


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