Updated April 26th, 2024 at 21:14 IST

'You Will Have My Children': Freed Israeli Hostage Reveals Hamas Captor was Unwilling to Let Her Go

While in captivity, 18-year-old Noga Weiss from Kibbutz Be'eri said that one of her captors professed his love for her and said that he would not let her go.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Noga Weiss, 18, was kidnapped from her home on October 7 and released as part of a temporary ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas. | Image:X@bringhomenow
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Jerusalem: In an interview with Channel 12, Noga Weiss, an Israeli teen who was kidnapped on October 7 and subsequently released as part of a temporary ceasefire deal, revealed that one of her Hamas captors was less than willing to let her go. Indeed, Weiss said that the man had explicitly told her that while the other hostages would be released, the 18-year-old would stay with him, marry him and even have his children.

This, evidently, did not come to pass as Noga and her mother, Shiri, were released on day 50 of their captivity as part of a temporary ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas that was brokered by Qatar. 

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Day of terror

Noga and her mother Shiri are residents of Kibbutz Be'eri, a farming commune just a few kilometres away from the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip. With its close proximity to the border being a factor, it is a tragic but unsurprising fact that Be'eri was among the hardest hit communities during the October 7 attack. 

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A New York Times investigation revealed that Be'eri had suffered the loss of at least 97 people, or one in every ten residents, with several others being kidnapped during the massacre. 

Kibbutz Be'eri was among the worst hit communities during the attack on October 7. (Photo credit: AP)

As for Noga, she was with her parents on the morning of October 7 when the attack commenced. According to a Times of Israel report, Noga's father, 56-year-old Illan, left the family house at around 07:15 to join the Kibbutz's emergency response squad.

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He was never seen or heard from again and it would not be until January of 2024 when he was confirmed as having died on the day of the attack. 

Noga was reportedly hiding under the bed when Hamas gunmen entered her house and took her mother Shiri captive. Her mother had reportedly assumed that the gunmen would simply shoot her upon entering the house and not notice Noga.

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Subsequently, the gunmen lit her house on fire as they did for many houses in Be'eri. 

Suffocating from the smoke, Noga was advised over text by one of her sisters, who was hiding in another house, to escape through the window of the family safe room and hide in a bush outside. While she managed to escape the burning house, she was swiftly spotted and captured before being dragged off to Gaza. 

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Popping the question

 While in Gaza, Noga recalled that she was constantly shifted from one house to another, all the while wondering why her captors had delayed her execution. She noted that her captors' moods changed quickly, one-day playing cards with her and other prisoners and then coming at them with a gun on another. 

“You always had to please them,” she said during her Channel 12 interview. 

It was on the 14th day of her captivity that one of her Hamas captors brought a woman clad in a hijab to the house where Noga was being kept. The teen realised that the woman was none other than her mother, who she assumed had died in Be'eri on October 7. 

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As for why the sudden reunion had taken place, her captor explained that he had brought her mother so that he could ask her permission to marry her daughter. To emphasise the point, the man presented 18-year-old Noga with a ring and told her that even when the others left Gaza, she would stay as his wife and have his children. 

Noga, looking to avoid antagonising her captor, simply laughed. Her mother, she recalled, was not quite so polite. She flatly refused the man's offer and repeatedly yelled that she would not allow the marriage.

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Noga and her mother Shiri (top left) were among the 13 hostages released by Hamas on the second day of its temporary ceasefire with Israel in November last year. (Photo credit: AP)

 

Though the man acquiesced for the moment, Noga recalled that he continued to stay with her until her eventual release on day 50, constantly repeating that he would not let her go and that he would marry her. 

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"People don’t understand the feeling of fear,” Noga said during the interview. 

“I was 50 days, 24/7, with the thought that they would get tired of me and just shoot me or that they wouldn’t need me in the end, or that they would shoot us while we slept in the middle of the night,” she added.

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Published April 26th, 2024 at 20:47 IST