Bilal Ziyadne, 18, who returned a week ago after more than 50 days of Hamas captivity, describes his time as a hostage in an interview with Channel 13 news.
“I told them we were Arabs. They said to us, even though we’re Arabs, they’re kidnapping us,” he recounts of October 7, when he, his sister, older brother, and father were kidnapped. He and his sister, Aisha, were the only ones from the Bedouin family from Rahat who have been released so far.
He says the four of them were kept together, and they were brought enough food to not be hungry, “normal food.” Asked what he spoke about with his family, Bilal says “I don’t remember. We were scared.”
He says for most of the time he did not know there were other hostages outside of the four members of his family. “We didn’t think the war would take that long, it felt like such a long time, we prayed to be freed,” he says.
Bilal says that all four of them were provided with “a mattress, pillow, blanket,” unlike many freed Israeli hostages who said they slept on the bare ground and were given barely enough food to survive.
The released teen says he felt afraid of the Israeli airstrikes he would hear, but not of Hamas: “I’m scared for those who are still there… I feel and I know what they’re going through.”