Mother of Gaza hostage Naama Levy says daughter survived ‘difficult things’

Naama Levy was taken hostage by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)
Naama Levy was taken hostage by Hamas terrorists on October 7, 2023. (Courtesy)

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expected to meet later today with the families of the female soldiers held hostage in Gaza, the mother of Naama Levy says that hostages released in November had endured harsh circumstances.

“We heard from the hostages who returned at the end of November that they saw her for a short time just before they left. They told us that she is a hero and amazing, and went through very difficult things and survived them,” Ayelet Levy Shahar tells the Kan public broadcaster.

“They said she was wounded in the legs but standing and walking and talking, and that she talked and talked. She was on her own for a long time and couldn’t talk because she was only with her captors,” she says.

“I thanked the hostages who were released because they listened to her. It was so important to hear and for her to be able to speak. The fact that she can speak indicates her state of mind, so it’s encouraging to hear,” she says.

Of the expected meeting with the premier later today, Levy Shahar says that they will ask questions about the negotiations for a potential hostage deal.

“The situation in which we, as families, have to convince the prime minister, the cabinet, the state that it is their job to consider the abandoned girls, all the hostages, is unimaginable,” says Levy Shahar. “So maybe this is what should be said to [Netanyahu]: ‘We are not the ones who should need to convince you, this is your job.”

Naama Levy was seen in a video from Gaza on October 7 following her kidnapping with her hands tied and bloodied sweatpants, giving rise to widespread speculation that she had been sexually abused by her abductors.

In December, Levy Shahar published a heartfelt plea for her daughter’s release and warned time was running out.

“There are 17 young women still in captivity. They range in age from 18 to 26. I think of what they, and my Naama, could be subjected to at every moment of the day. Each minute is an eternity in hell,” she wrote.

Last Thursday, Netanyahu met for the first time with the relatives of the male soldiers held hostage. Family members of some of those soldiers said they had been “scared” into silence for months by the government and security establishment.

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