ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Husband of freed hostage: She thought for 51 days that I had been killed

The reunification of the Brodutch family, with father Avichai meeting his wife Hagar and their children Ofri, 10, Yuval, 9 and Oriya, 4, after the latter four were held by terrorists in Gaza for 51 days, November 27, 2023. (Spokesperson's Office, Schneider Children's Medical Center)
The reunification of the Brodutch family, with father Avichai meeting his wife Hagar and their children Ofri, 10, Yuval, 9 and Oriya, 4, after the latter four were held by terrorists in Gaza for 51 days, November 27, 2023. (Spokesperson's Office, Schneider Children's Medical Center)

Avichai Brodutch, whose wife Hagar and three children Ofri, 10, Yuval, 9, and Oriya, 4, returned from Hamas captivity last week, says his wife thought the entire time they were held hostage that he was dead.

“I left the house that morning and she didn’t know where I was… she didn’t hear anything,” he says during an interview on Channel 12 news. “But she heard what was going on in the kibbutz,” and thought I had been killed.

Brodutch says that Hagar “didn’t call me before getting on the helicopter [to meet him at the hospital] because she said she couldn’t even reconcile the fact that I was alive.”

Reuniting with his family was “joy that I can’t even describe… after time passed I understood that I’m one of the lucky ones and there are so many still there.”

Brodutch declines to provide many details of their time held hostage by the terror group, saying: “I think it’s her story to tell and not mine, when they are ready to tell their story they will.”

He says that “the kids are ok, there was a ‘high’ and it seemed like everything was perfect,” but that it will take them a while to fully heal from the psychological wounds of what they experienced.

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