ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 141

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Freed hostage Elma Avraham, 84, no longer critical; Yaffa Adar, 85, discharged

Soroka Medical Center says Avraham is breathing on her own but remains in intensive care for treatment; Adar, 85, who became a symbol of resilience, leaves hospital

  • Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
    Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)
  • Yaffa Adar says goodbye to medical staff at Wolfson Medical Center as she leaves the hospital on November 28, 2023. Adar, an 85-year-old grandmother, was abducted by Hamas on October 7 and released on Novemver 24. (Wolfson Medical Center)
    Yaffa Adar says goodbye to medical staff at Wolfson Medical Center as she leaves the hospital on November 28, 2023. Adar, an 85-year-old grandmother, was abducted by Hamas on October 7 and released on Novemver 24. (Wolfson Medical Center)

Elma Avraham, 84, who was brought to Israel in critical condition on Sunday night after her release from Hamas captivity, has been taken off a ventilator and is continuing to improve, the head of the trauma unit at Soroka Medical Center said.

“I’m happy to report that the last few hours have seen an improvement in her condition,” Prof. Moti Klein said on Tuesday afternoon.

“She is awake, breathing on her own and no longer needs the same level of care as when she got here.”

Upon her release on Sunday night, Avraham was brought directly to Soroka Medical Center from the Gaza border due to the severity of her condition.

Klein said on Tuesday that Avraham arrived at Soroka in Beersheba late Sunday with all of her vital signs “extremely low.” Avraham is required to take several medications for chronic conditions, some of which doctors described as life-saving, but her medical team and family have said that she did not have access to the medication while she was held in Gaza.

“This is why she was listed in life-threatening condition,” Klein said. “These signs and lab tests bolstered the understanding that her condition was seemingly a result of not taking these required medications.”

Elma Avraham was abducted from her Kibbutz Nahal Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. She was freed on November 26, 2023. (Courtesy)

He said Avraham will remain in intensive care for the time being while she undergoes continued treatment.

On Monday, her children blasted the Red Cross for failing to care for their mother while she was in Hamas captivity, and her daughter Tal Amano accused them of abandoning her.

Tal Amano, daughter of released hostage Elma Avraham, speaks to the media on November 27, 2023. (Walla screenshot; used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

“We waited for our mother for 52 days,” said Amano. “She is 84. A grandmother. A great-grandmother. She’s a happy, optimistic person. She lived alone at home, she was independent. Yes, she has several medical conditions.”

“They abandoned my mother from a health perspective,” she added. “My mother didn’t have to return like this. It was neglect during her entire period there. She didn’t receive her lifesaving medications. She was abandoned twice, once on October 7 and a second time by all the organizations that should have saved her and prevented her condition.”

Avraham was abducted from her home in Kibbutz Nahal Oz on October 7, when some 3,000 Hamas terrorists burst into Israel from Gaza, unleashing death on more than 20 communities across the south of the country, killing 1,200 people and seizing some 240 hostages.

Also on Tuesday, Wolfson Medical Center in Holon announced that hostage Yaffa Adar, 85, who was released from captivity on November 24, had been discharged from the hospital.

In photos and videos shared by the hospital, Adar, who was abducted from her home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, was seen smiling as she waved, blew kisses and embraced medical staff amid scenes of celebration.

Yaffa Adar says goodbye to medical staff at Wolfson Medical Center as she leaves the hospital on November 28, 2023. Adar, an 85-year-old grandmother, was abducted by Hamas on October 7 and released on November 24. (Wolfson Medical Center)

From the time of her capture, she emerged as an icon of dignity and quiet defiance after footage emerged of her keeping a stiff upper lip even as ecstatic terrorists drove her off into captivity in a mobility scooter, and later a car inside Gaza.

Both Avraham and Adar were released as part of a Qatar-negotiated deal that stipulated that over the course of a four-day ceasefire, Hamas would release 50 Israeli women and children, and Israel would release 150 Palestinian security prisoners.

On Monday, both sides agreed to extend the ceasefire by an additional two days, for the release of 20 more hostages.

Jessica Steinberg contributed to this report.

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