Female Israeli soldier reunited with her family after 23 days in captivity

Hamas share footage of three Israeli hostages

A female soldier has been reunited with her family more than three weeks after she was taken hostage by Hamas.

Colonel Uri Magidish was released as Israeli troops were undertaking ground operations within the Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced.

In a brief statement shared on X, formerly Twitter, the IDF said: “Tonight, the female soldier Col. Uri Magidish was released, during a ground operation, after she was kidnapped by the terrorist organisation Hamas on 7/10.

“The soldier was medically examined, her condition is good and she met with her family.”

The announcement added the force and Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, “will continue to make every effort to bring about the release of the abductees.”

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Shin Bet and the IDF also shared an undated picture showing the service woman smiling while surrounded by her family.

The young soldier, who was held by Hamas for 23 days, can be seen standing at the centre, while a woman hugs her and places her head on Colonel Magidish’s shoulder.

Also in the picture, a man has one of his arms wrapped tightly behind Colonel Magidish’s back.

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Colonel Magidish has become the fifth hostage to be freed since Hamas assaulted Israel on October 7, when terrorists killed more than 1,400 people and took captive at least 220 others.

Two US-Israeli women were released on October 20 after Qatar brokered negotiations with the militant group.

A few days later, two elderly Israeli women were also freed through the Rafah crossing into Egypt. One of them, Yocheved Lifshitz, took part in a press conference the following day to share her experience and provide information about the “spiderweb” of tunnels underneath Gaza.

Hundreds more remain in the hands of Hamas militants, who today released a video showing three female captives delivering a statement designed to put pressure on the Israeli government, which is ramping up its military operation.

In the clip, one of the hostages accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “failing to prevent Hamas’ attack” and of “punishing” victims of Hamas “for your political, national neglect”.

Mr Netanyahu condemned the video as “cruel psychological propaganda”.

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