Bittersweet moment tearful Hamas hostage Maya Regev is reunited with her family in hospital seven weeks after she was shot and kidnapped but her teenage brother is still being held captive
Israeli festival-goer Maya Regev, who was shot and then kidnapped by Hamas terrorists during their brutal October 7 attacks, has been released and reunited with her family ahead of the operation – but still misses her teenage brother.
Maya, 21, was one of 58 hostages released by Hamas over the past four days of the ceasefire between the Israeli army and the Palestinian group.
She was kidnapped from the Nova music festival – where 364 people were killed as Hamas gunmen poured across the border on motorcycles, trucks and paragliders – but not before she took a stray bullet.
Despite her injuries, Maya managed to cling to life and spent some 50 days languishing in captivity ahead of her eventual release on Saturday evening, with harrowing photos showing her being pulled and escorted from a Red Cross van by masked Hamas militants as she shuffled. about on crutches.
Her reunion with relatives at Soroka Hospital in the Israeli city of Be’er-Sheva, captured in heartbreaking video footage, was bittersweet.
Maya can be heard sobbing as she hugged her family as she sat in her hospital bed, elated at the liberation and in the company of loved ones, but mourning her teenage brother Itay, 18, who remains in Hamas captivity.
A Hamas fighter and Red Cross medics help recently released Israeli hostage Maya Regev into a Red Cross vehicle in the Gaza Strip
Maya, an attendee at the Nova music festival, was shot and then kidnapped on October 7
Her reunion with relatives at Soroka Hospital in the Israeli city of Be’er-Sheva, captured in heartbreaking video footage, was bittersweet
Medical staff watch as Maya hugs her family members prior to surgery
Itay is one of several Hamas hostages that the terror group says it cannot locate.
While some hostages were held by Hamas officials, others were split up and taken away by civilian groups or armed gangs from Gaza, said Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, who led the effort to broker a ceasefire between the IDF and Hamas. .
As the IDF continues its operations in Gaza to attempt to locate and free the remaining hostages, Maya is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair the damage caused by the gunshot wound.
According to Soroka hospital staff, Dr. Shlomi Kodesh told Israel’s i24 News that her life was not in danger, but that surgery was necessary for Maya to make a full recovery.
Like Maya, several of the hostages released by Hamas this weekend are facing a dark new reality.
They have been granted their freedom, but are now burdened by the knowledge that other members of their family are still in captivity, or worse, were slaughtered on October 7.
Two of these recently released hostages are siblings Noam and Alma Or, 16 and 13 years old.
They were greeted on Saturday by happy grandparents and their older brother Yali, 18, before undergoing medical checks after their lengthy captivity.
But the teenagers’ elation at regaining their freedom quickly faded when they learned that their mother Yonat had been shot by Hamas attackers in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7.
Uncle Ahal Besorai, a British-Israeli lawyer, told the story The guard how the children were devastated when they heard their mother’s fate.
“Unfortunately, they didn’t know that my sister, their mother, had been murdered,” he said.
‘Suddenly they come to visit their loved ones for the first time in fifty days and the first news they are confronted with is that their mother is no longer alive. I think it was very traumatic, there were a lot of tears, a lot of pain.”
The youngest hostage released this weekend – four-year-old Israeli-American citizen Abigail Edan – also lost both her parents in the October 7 attacks.
“What she endured was unthinkable,” Biden said of the first American released under the truce. He did not know her condition and provided no updates on other American hostages.
Maya was among 13 Israelis and four hostages that Hamas released late Saturday, November 25, 2023, in the second round of swap deals under a ceasefire, the Israeli military said.
Noam and Alma Or, aged 16 and 13, are two of 58 hostages released so far under a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas
Dror Or and Yonat Or are depicted in this undated photo. Yonat was killed by Hamas attackers during the October 7 massacre – Dror remains missing, suspected kidnapped
The Or family is depicted in this undated photo
Yonat Or, her husband Dror and their teenage daughter Alma, 13
With the four-day ceasefire set to expire today, Hamas has said it wants to see an extension of the interim peace deal to negotiate the release of more hostages from Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.
A statement released last night by Hamas called for “an extension of the ceasefire after the expiration of the four-day period, through serious efforts to increase the number of people released from captivity, as stipulated in the Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement.”
International mediators led by the US, Egypt and Qatar are now trying to extend the ceasefire that began on Friday to allow the exchange of more hostages, as war-weary Gazans seek more respite from Israeli bombs.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was resolute in his intentions to crush Hamas and announced his troops would resume its offensive ‘with all our might’ as soon as the armistice expires.
Ahead of the latest hostage release, Netanyahu donned body armor and visited the Gaza Strip, where he spoke to troops.
“At the end of the day, we will return them all,” he said of the hostages, adding that “we will continue until the end, until victory.” Nothing will stop us.’ It was not clear where he was going in Gaza.
The Israeli prime minister had previously told US President Joe Biden that he would be willing to extend the ceasefire with Hamas for an additional day for every ten hostages released.
But after the Qatari-brokered deal was agreed last week, Netanyahu said the goals of “eliminating Hamas and recovering the hostages” would continue unhindered regardless of when the ceasefire ultimately ends.