Israeli Soldier Rescued from Gaza Strip Welcomes Release of Fellow Hostages
Israeli Soldier Rescued from Gaza Strip Welcomes Release of Fellow Hostages

Tel Aviv: Ori Megidish, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier rescued from the Gaza Strip, expressed her joy at the recent releases of her fellow hostages. This marks her first public statement since being freed. Megidish was operating an observation post on the heavily-militarized Gaza border when she was seized during the Hamas attacks on October 7. While her rescue was confirmed by the Israeli military over three weeks later, details about her captivity and the operation to free her have not been disclosed.

In a video posted on her TikTok account, Megidish assured everyone that she is "fine" and expressed happiness at seeing moving clips of other hostages returning to their families. She conveyed hope for families still waiting for their loved ones to return, wishing for their unity and celebration. On Sunday, 14 hostages with Israeli citizenship were returned, marking the third day of a four-day truce deal with Hamas. The agreement involves the release of a total of 50 Gaza captives in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners.

Inbar Goldstein, speaking about her sister-in-law Chen Goldstein-Almog and her children released in the exchange, stated, "They are in our arms. They are fine, in good condition, and they are smiling." Chen Goldstein-Almog lost her husband and older daughter in the October 7 attacks. The Hostages and Missing Families Forum shared a statement from Inbar Goldstein, emphasizing the family's knowledge of the tragic events on that fateful day. She expressed a moment to breathe, smile, and start picking up the pieces while continuing the fight for the return of all abductees.

Negotiations for an extension of the truce, facilitating more hostage returns, were ongoing on Monday. However, concerns arose for one released hostage, 84-year-old Elma Avraham, who was in critical condition due to reported serious neglect during her captivity. Another notable case was that of toddler Abigail, a US-Israeli dual citizen, whose parents were killed on October 7. Highlighted by US President Joe Biden, Abigail, who turned four in captivity, was safely home. Her family requested privacy for her recovery.

Since the October 7 attacks, Israel has undertaken a massive military campaign in response to Gaza's Hamas rulers, who claim significant civilian casualties. Negotiations for the extension of the truce continue, bringing hope for more hostage returns.

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