Press Memo: As Kfir Bibas Turns 1 in Hamas Captivity, New Details Emerge of Hamas Brutality Toward Hostages

Jan 18, 2024

To: Interested Parties
From: The 10/7 Project
Re: As Kfir Bibas Turns 1 in Hamas Captivity, New Details Emerge of Hamas Brutality Toward Hostages
Contact: [email protected]

More than 100 days since the October 7th massacre, when Hamas killed 1,200 people and took about 240 people captive, new details continue to emerge about Hamas’s horrific treatment of hostages. Never before shared first-person accounts from freed hostages and family members shed new light on the severity of Hamas’s brutal treatment of its victims, both during and after the October 7th attacks. Here are some of their stories.

Today marks the first birthday of infant Kfir Bibas, the youngest hostage taken into captivity by Hamas during the October 7th attacks. Israeli President Isaac Herzog brought attention to this horror while speaking today at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. On this global stage, the President reaffirmed his commitment to bringing the hostages home. Herzog held up a photo of Kfir and explained how the infant boy was kidnapped alongside his mother Shiri and four-year-old brother Ariel. In an interview with Channel 12 News Israel, Kfir’s aunt Yifat Zeiler cried and exclaimed, “I beg you bring them home, they are what is left from our injured soul.” Children released from Hamas captivity prepared birthday cards for Kfir to demonstrate solidarity. Kfir Bibas is not the enemy of the Hamas [sic],” stated Shiri’s cousin in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Hamas beheaded Sgt. Adir Tahar and “took his head back to Gaza with them,” according to Adir’s father David. “[We] discovered that one of the terrorists had tried to sell his head… for $10,000. It’s simply a terrifying level of barbarity,” David said in an interview. Adir’s head was found “in an ice cream store… in a duffel bag, next to some of the terrorist’s documents and tennis balls. I buried what remained in coordination with the Rabbinate,” David said.

Former hostage Sharon Cunio spoke publicly about her experience being held captive by Hamas in a Gazan hospital. In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Cunio highlights how Hamas terrorists continue to use hospitals, such as the one in Khan Yunis where she was kept, to house Israeli abductees. Cunio recalled being “transferred in ambulances inside Gaza” and locked in a small hospital room alongside 10 other hostages.

Hamas starved 84-year-old Elma Avraham and returned her in “the worst condition.” Hamas kidnapped Elma from her home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz during the October 7th massacre and took her to Gaza, where demonstrators burned her arm. She remained in captivity for 50 days. “Every morning [Hamas] brought me six dates, and that was what we had for the whole day. My stomach shrunk so I didn’t feel any hunger. Sometimes they gave me water, sometimes not,” she recalled in an interview.

Hamas continues to hold Clara Marman’s family in “inhuman conditions.” Hamas kidnapped Clara and her family on October 7th and held them in the tunnels beneath Gaza. “We laid down most of the time, there was no possibility of movement,” she said of her family’s time in the tunnels. “We looked for a place to sit, to change positions… for the body to have some kind of movement. These are inhuman conditions.” Clara was freed after 53 days, but her brother and partner remain in Hamas captivity. “I don’t really feel like I’m back. In my head I’m still there,” she adds. “My heart is really captive because my brother, Fernando Marman, and my partner, Louis Har, are [still] there.”

16-year-old Amit Shani discussed his time in Hamas captivity with recently murdered hostage Yossi Sharabi in a new interview. In a preview clip released by Channel 12 News, Shani describes how Yossi would take care of him while they were captive — and how he wishes his caretaker and neighbor had been released instead of him. Earlier this week, Kibbutz Be’eri announced that Sharabi and another hostage, Itay Svirsky, were murdered in Hamas captivity.

Itay’s sister, Merav Svirksy, spoke about the widely-publicized death of her brother. Earlier this week, Hamas released a propaganda video showing the dead bodies of Svirsky and Sharabi. The terrorists falsely claimed that they were killed by Israeli airstrikes, a tactic that Hamas employs as a form of psychological abuse.” While speakingwith Channel 12 journalist Ilana Dayan, Merav shared that “[she] was afraid [Hamas would] publish something like this…[she] didn’t see a sign of life in the video.”

23-year-old Romi Gonen is “alive, but her injuries are getting worse.”  On October 7th, Romi watched Hamas terrorists murder her best friend before she was kidnapped to Gaza. She was also shot in the hand, injuries that are only getting worse according to released hostages.103 days later, Romi, the Gonen family’s “private sunshine,” is still in captivity. Romi’s sister Yarden shared her story yesterday on Capitol Hill, urging leaders to “Do everything you can to get our hostages home,” and reminding them that “we are running out of time, but we are not running out of hope.”


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