Freed hostage recalls watching as Hamas captors informed Yarden Bibas about ‘fate’ of his family while filming

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, reveals 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 says that the claims made by Hamas regarding the Bibas family have not been verified, and terror groups in Gaza previously announced that an Israeli hostage had been killed in IDF strikes only to release her alive several weeks later.

But Margalit tells 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.

Margalit says the Hamas captors 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 recalls, 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.

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)

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

Earlier in the interview, Margalit reveals that she was kept in the same tunnel complex as dozens of other hostages.

During her captivity, she and the hostages she was with received a visit from senior Hamas officials. “They didn’t introduce themselves, and I didn’t know their names until I returned to Israel,” she says.

A nurse by profession, Margalit took care of some of the hostages. She says her captors would approach her every so often to come and treat other hostages. Among those she treated were Amiram Cooper, Avraham Munder and Margalit Mozes who were 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)

She said she would tell the captors what kinds of medicine 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 how to fill the role in her absence.

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 says.

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