A group of recently released hostages and their relatives met with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet minister Benny Gantz Saturday evening. 

One of the freed hostages, quoted by The Times of Israel, relayed the fear that captives endured daily and the lingering trauma they’ve experienced since their release. 

“Every passing day is terrifying. You have no idea what kind of monsters we are dealing with. If they’re feeling threatened, they will use the captives. They scared us that the IDF would use the Hannibal Directive on civilians, and therefore we were scared when the [IDF] bombings were close,” the unnamed individual was quoted as saying, referring to the IDF’s use of heavy fire if a soldier is abducted – even at the risk of killing the soldier. 

Gaza Tunnels

Army spokesman Daniel Hagari shows the entrance of a tunnel that Hamas reportedly used to attack Israel through the Erez border crossing on October 7.  (JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

“They were so close that we begged them to take us [from the building in which we were held] into the tunnels [for safety], and at one stage, they did,” the subject said, before warning the soldiers: “Don’t go into the tunnels. They are moving around in there in vast numbers. It’s a colossal danger to soldiers and to hostages.” 


The comments come more than two months after Hamas militants stormed into southern Israel and killed some 1,200 people and captured scores of hostages. 

Israel’s offensive has killed more than 18,700 Palestinians per the Hamas-run Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians. Israel has disputed these figures. 

Gaza fighting

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip as seen from southern Israel on Friday, Dec. 1. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Hamas released over 100 of more than 240 hostages captured on Oct. 7 in exchange for the release of scores of Palestinian prisoners during a brief cease-fire in November. Nearly all freed have been women and minors. 

Hamas has said no more hostages will be released until the war ends and that in exchange it will demand the release of large numbers of Palestinian prisoners, including high-profile militants. 


According to those tracking the Iranian-backed group – and admissions by its leaders – Hamas has built an approximately 300-mile subterranean system that snakes beneath civilian homes, schools, and hospitals in urban areas of the Gaza Strip. 

Fox News’ Ruth Marks Eglash contributed to this report. 


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