Released hostages are treated at hospitals as images show them reunite with loved ones

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Released Gaza hostage Itay Regev is embraced by his mother at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Released Gaza hostage Itay Regev is embraced by his mother at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

The hostages released from Hamas captivity in Gaza last night are receiving care at hospitals throughout the country. The 12 Israelis are at Soroka Medical Center, Sheba Medical Center, Ichilov Hospital, and Schneider Children’s Hospital. The four released Thai citizens are at Shamir (Assaf Harofeh) Medical Center.

The freed hostages will undergo thorough medical and psychological evaluations and receive all necessary care from specially trained medical and psychosocial teams.

It is presumed that the one former hostage brought to Soroka is 18-year-old Itay Regev, whose sister Maya Regev, 21, is being treated there after having been released from captivity earlier this week. Israel’s policy is to keep family members together.

Another family reunion occurred last night when Raaya Rotem returned from captivity and joined her daughter Hila Rotem, 13, at Sheba. Hila was freed on November 25, without her mother, in violation of the temporary ceasefire agreement, and has reported that the pair had been separated 48 hours prior to her release.

Released Gaza hostage Raaya Rotem, right, alongside an IDF officer at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

According to Prof. Itai Pessach, director of the Edmond and Lily Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba, the six women brought there last night are suffering from various injuries. However, none are life-threatening, and all the women are in stable condition.

Released Gaza hostage Liat Beinin Atzili speaks to loved ones on the phone at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Pessach says that the 21 returnees previously brought to Sheba have completed acute physical and mental evaluations. Some have already been discharged to continue their recoveries at home under the continued supervision of the hospital in coordination with community health teams.

“We were privileged to accompany the [heartwarming] reunions of many families on one hand, but we were also exposed to the complex and difficult stories of these people during their time of captivity,” Pessach says.

“Tonight we were especially moved by the reunion of Raaya and Hila Rotem. Hila has been with us since her release from captivity and we, along with the entire Israeli nation, were very much looking forward to this reunion,” he adds.

Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit has published photos of the released hostages being welcomed by loved ones upon their return last night to Hatzerim airbase in Israel.

Released Gaza hostage Liam Or is embraced by his father at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)
Released Gaza hostage Moran Stela Yanai, left, alongside an IDF officer at Hatzerim airbase, early November 30, 2023. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

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