January 25, 2024 | Flash Brief

Freed Israeli Hostage Says She Met Hamas Leader in Captivity

January 25, 2024 | Flash Brief

Freed Israeli Hostage Says She Met Hamas Leader in Captivity

Latest Developments

A freed Israeli hostage revealed on January 24 that she met with Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar twice while in Hamas captivity. Adina Moshe, a 72-year-old resident of Kibbutz Nir Oz, said that Hamas terrorists held her in one of the group’s tunnels, where she and other hostages lived off meager rations of canned food and rice. She said that Sinwar — Hamas’s leader in Gaza and the reported mastermind of the October 7 attack — paid two visits to her and the other hostages. Israel believes that Sinwar is hiding near Israeli hostages for protection. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently discovered cages underneath Khan Younis, a Hamas hub in southern Gaza, that held Israeli hostages, likely with Hamas leadership nearby.

Expert Analysis

“Returning hostages being held in Gaza poses a significant dilemma for Israel. While the government is committed to rescuing every hostage, it also aims to dismantle Hamas and neutralize its top leaders, especially Yahya Sinwar. Regrettably, achieving the removal of top Hamas leaders in Gaza while returning all the remaining hostages home alive and safe is an extremely challenging task due to the likely presence of captives being used as human shields.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

“Now more than ever, there is an excruciating tension between the two primary goals of the war: destroying Hamas and bringing the hostages home. Sinwar is using the hostages as human shields because he understands that they are his best insurance policy. Now, the IDF must figure out how to capture or kill the Hamas leaders in hiding while preserving the lives of the hostages.” — Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

Hostage Testimony

Moshe told Israel’s Channel 12 that armed terrorists brought her to Gaza on the back of a motorcycle and marched her for five hours through Hamas’s labyrinth of tunnels. The terror group held Moshe in a dimly lit room, where she said some of the hostages passed the time by delivering lectures to one another. On one occasion, Moshe recounted seeing two male hostages kept in cells because they had attempted to fight back against the terrorists.

Hostage Conditions

On January 20, the IDF announced it had uncovered a Hamas tunnel that once held 20 hostages, including six-year-old Emilia Aloni. IDF Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that “about 20 hostages were held in this tunnel at different times,” where they experienced “harsh conditions without daylight, in dense air with little oxygen, and terrible humidity that makes breathing difficult.” Israel forces located the 830-yard-long tunnel in Khan Younis. The tunnel, which included five prison cells with mattresses, small toilets, and showers, ran 20 meters underground and connected to a local Hamas leader’s house. It cost millions of dollars to build, according to the IDF.

10 Things to Know About Hamas Tunnels,” FDD Insight

Israeli Forces Locate Tunnel Where Hostages Were Held in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel Vows to Eliminate Hamas Terror Leader Yahya Sinwar,” FDD Flash Brief


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