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19-year-old forced to say: ‘Where were you on Oct. 7?’

Israeli hostage Daniela Gilboa

Israeli hostage Daniela Gilboa

JERUSALEM – The family of Daniela Gilboa – who has been held in Hamas captivity since being kidnapped on Oct. 7, permitted the release of a video Tuesday, which shows the 19-year-old Israeli soldier on her 107th day in the Gaza Strip.

“170 days have passed since the release of the video where I last saw my daughter,” said Orly Gilboa, Daniela’s mother. “In the footage, she appears strong and determined, but psychological assessments we’ve received indicate her poor mental state. Who knows what my daughter has endured in the 170 days since then?”

“I implore the decision-makers to show leadership and approve the [ceasefire] deal so that I can embrace Daniela again soon, and so that all the hostages can return home,” she added.

The timing of Orly Gilboa’s permission to release the video – the existence of which has been known for nearly six months, although it was not published – is to coincide with the renewed push to come to some kind of ceasefire deal, which will likely include swapping hostages for convicted Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

In the video – which she was almost certainly forced to make – Gilboa says that she is from Petah Tikva, a city of some 270,000+ residents, located approximately 6 miles east of Tel Aviv. She acknowledges she was kidnapped from the Nahal Oz army base on Oct. 7.

“I’ve been in Hamas captivity for 107 days now, and I don’t know when or if I’ll ever return home. I’m under constant bombardment and gunfire 24 hours a day. I’m terrified for my life. At one point, your bombs [meaning the IDF] nearly killed me.”

She then continues to accuse the Israeli government of not caring about her plight; no doubt a psychological ploy, which both released and rescued hostages have acknowledged.

“Where were you on Oct. 7th when I was taken from my bed? Why do I, as a soldier who gave 100% of myself to the country and served in such difficult conditions in the Gaza envelope, have to feel abandoned and discarded by you?

“Get your act together, my dear government, and start doing your job prosperity to bring us all home while we’re still alive. I don’t need any food, money, clothes, or anything else – just bring us home alive … To my dear family, I miss you so much and love you – Mom, Dad, Nuni, and Roiko.”

“Please stay strong and do everything you can to bring me home while I’m still alive,” she concluded.

The release of the video also comes on the day when the Hostage Families Forum will hold two separate events.

The first is a virtual press conference when the families will talk about the passing of nine months in captivity, specifically focusing on the fears of sexual violence and forced pregnancies. Gilboa was one of the five young women – bloodied and bruised – shown in a video released in May – also via the Hostages Families Forum – where they had their hands tied behind their back, as a number of heavily-armed men interrogated them. In the extremely difficult-to-watch footage, Hamas terrorists gloat, “Here are the girls who can get pregnant.”

A press release from the organization said, “For nine months, 120 hostages have endured terrible conditions under Hamas captivity. Among them are young women facing reported sexual violence and abuse. Their families are haunted by terrifying thoughts about their loved ones’ conditions and the horrifying possibility of forced pregnancies.”

The families will share their experiences and fears – the latter of which is a deliberate Hamas tactic to ratchet up the emotional and mental anguish for those desperately hoping and praying their loved ones return. Health professionals will also be present at the press conference to discuss psychological support and adaptation strategies for returning hostages, addressing trauma and facilitating recovery.

The second event is called “Mother is Waiting.” This will be a silent demonstration, which will take place in Hostages Square, located in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, close to the IDF headquarters. The mothers will participate in a silent nine-minute display, each minute representing one month of their children’s captivity. They will wear their children’s shirts and stand before empty chairs bearing personal items representing their loved ones and home.

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