Ex-hostage watched Hamas captors tell Yarden Bibas of family’s ‘fate’ while filming

In TV interview, Nili Margalit recalls refusing to tell fellow hostage unconfirmed news of death of his wife, kids: ‘Let his Hamas captor look him in the eyes and tell him himself’

Nili Margalit speaks to Channel 12's Uvda on January 4, 2024. (Screen capture/Channel 12)
Nili Margalit speaks to Channel 12's Uvda on January 4, 2024. (Screen capture/Channel 12)

Nili Margalit, who spent nearly 50 days in Hamas captivity, revealed that she was with Yarden Bibas when Hamas terrorists told him his wife and two young children had been killed and ordered him to film a video in which he blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for refusing to return their bodies to Israel.

The IDF has said that the claims made by Hamas regarding the Bibas family have not been verified, described them as “psychological terror,” and noted that terror groups in Gaza had previously announced that an Israeli hostage had been killed in an IDF strike only to release her alive several weeks later.

Yarden Bibas, 34, his wife, Shiri, 32 and their two boys, Ariel, 4 and Kfir, then 9 months, were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7. Yarden was taken to Gaza separately from the rest of his family, and they are still held hostage.

Margalit told Channel 12’s Uvda investigative program that Yarden Bibas was already in a poor psychological state due to worry over his family’s wellbeing and broke down upon being given the news by his captors.

She said the Hamas captors had told her she would be released later that day, only to later tell her and fellow hostage Yoram Metzger that they would have to deliver the news about the Bibas family to Yarden.

“I told Yoram, if they want to tell him such a terrible thing, let them tell him themselves.

“Let him look him in the eyes and tell him himself. He knows Hebrew,” Margalit recalled, referring to the Hamas captor.

The Hamas member proceeded to deliver the “news” to Yarden in Arabic as Metzger translated and another Hamas member filmed the reaction, telling the broken father what to say.

A minute later, Margalit was swept away by her captors, and she was released later that evening.


Shiri Bibas (center) and her sons Ariel, 4, (left) and baby Kfir, who were abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 (Courtesy)

Margalit was taken hostage from her home on Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists burst into southern Israel, killing some 1,200 people and seizing an estimated 240 hostages — mostly civilians. Under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities, entire families were executed in their homes, and over 360 people were slaughtered at an outdoor festival, amid horrific acts of brutality and sexual violence by the terrorists.

Margalit was released on November 30 after 54 days in captivity — one of 105 civilians released by Hamas during a weeklong truce. A day later, on December 1, 2023, the IDF confirmed the death of her father, Eliyahu Margalit, whose body remains in Gaza.

Earlier in the Uvda interview, Margalit revealed that she was kept in the same tunnel complex as dozens of other hostages, in the terror group’s extensive underground system.

During her captivity, she and the hostages with her received a visit from senior Hamas officials, echoing comments by another freed hostage, Yocheved Lifschitz, who was released in October. “They didn’t introduce themselves, and I didn’t know their names until I returned to Israel,” Margalit said.

A nurse by profession, Margalit took care of some of the hostages. She said her captors would approach her every so often and take her to treat other hostages. Among those she treated were Amiram Cooper, Avraham Munder and Margalit Mozes, who were held in another tunnel within the same complex.

The Bibas family, father Yarden, mother Shiri, baby Kfir and four-year-old Ariel, were taken captive by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023 from Kibbutz Nir Oz. (Courtesy)

Margalit said she would tell the captors what medicines she needed to treat the sick hostages and that they would give it to her, albeit in insufficient amounts. Before leaving captivity, she tried to show Yarden Bibas how to fill her role.

After roughly 40 days in captivity, she was allowed to watch TV for the first time and saw those campaigning in Israel for the hostages’ release. “It made me happy that they didn’t forget us there,” she said.

It is believed that 132 hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7 remain in Gaza — not all of them alive. Four hostages were released prior to the November pause in fighting, and one was rescued by troops. The bodies of eight hostages have also been recovered and three hostages were mistakenly killed by the military. The Israel Defense Forces has confirmed the deaths of 25 of those still held by Hamas, citing new intelligence and findings obtained by troops operating in Gaza.

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