According to a UK government official, a minimum of 10 citizens from Britain have lost their lives and it is believed that six may currently be held as hostages by Hamas.
Victoria Atkins, the financial secretary of the Treasury, stated that the current situation was rapidly evolving as the death toll of British citizens increased to nine. She mentioned that six British nationals were reportedly being held as hostages and that their well-being was of utmost importance to the government.
She acknowledged that the situation is rapidly changing and the numbers may change as well. She understands how difficult this must be for the families and friends in the UK who are worried and concerned about their loved ones.
Sharone Lifschitz, who resides in London, traveled to Tel Aviv following the release of her mother, Yocheved Lifshitz, who was one of two hostages freed by Palestinian militants on Monday night. Sharone reported that her father, Oded Lifschitz, 83, is still unaccounted for. According to Sharone, her mother is doing well after the ordeal.
Video footage captured the moment when the captive woman’s captor handed her over to the Red Cross. In a brief interaction, she turned to shake his hand and uttered the word “shalom”, which means “peace” in Hebrew.
The daughter of the woman mentioned on BBC Radio 4’s Today show expressed her pride, saying, “She is truly amazing. The way she confidently left and returned to say thank you was impressive to me. It’s just like her.”
She stated: “She is highly intelligent and eager to share her knowledge with the families of the remaining hostages. It is crucial that we strive to secure the release of all individuals.”
She stated that there was no update on her father, who advocates for the rights of Palestinians, speaks Arabic, and often transports people from Gaza to Israeli hospitals. Her mother had also not been detained with him.
I hope he will be alright. My mother informed me that he is being taken care of and there was a doctor present, so this provides reassurance that he is receiving treatment.
There has been a significant loss within our community, with multiple funerals occurring daily. While there is still some hope, there is also a overwhelming sense of sorrow and grief.
She mentioned that the community was not yet dealing with their sorrow and were just trying to get through each day.
She remained hopeful that peace could be attained. “We must find a solution as there are no other options. This only strengthens my determination to find a way,” she stated.
“The journey ahead has become more arduous. Our ability to comprehend the magnitude of the horrors we have endured is truly astonishing. As a community, it is difficult to envision how we will persevere, heal, and rebuild. The challenges we face are immense and multifaceted. We must navigate through the pain and devastation of our losses, which can never truly be overcome. However, as nations, we must find a path towards progress.”
During a press conference in Tel Aviv, Yocheved Lifshitz recounted her experience of being held captive by Hamas militants in a network of underground tunnels in Gaza, describing it as a “spider web.”
Sharone Lifschitz, acting as an interpreter for her mother, stated during the press conference: “She was transported on a motorbike with her legs on one side and her head on the other. Then she was taken through the ploughed fields with men walking in front of her on one side, and one man behind her. As she was being transported, she was struck with sticks.”
They continued on until they arrived at the tunnels, where they traversed a few kilometers on the damp surface.
There is a vast labyrinth of underground tunnels – resembling a spider’s intricate web.