According to Daniel, the grandson of 85-year-old Yocheved Lifshitz, Hamas gunmen entered his grandmother’s house and shot her husband. They then forcefully took her on a motorbike and transported her to an underground tunnel network in Gaza.
During her time in captivity, Lifshitz claimed to have encountered Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza and a key orchestrator of the October 7 attacks.
She reportedly confronted Sinwar, questioning his lack of shame and criticizing the acts of violence committed against individuals who have dedicated their lives to pursuing peace. Her grandson stated that Sinwar remained silent in response.
However, Lifshitz’s son, Izhar Lifshitz, expressed doubt that his mother had actually met Sinwar. He suggested that she may have conversed with another high-ranking member of Hamas mistaken for Sinwar due to their similar appearance.
Following questioning and the presentation of photographs by security officials, it was determined that Lifshitz did not come face-to-face with Sinwar. Izhar Lifshitz elaborated further, stating that his mother had indeed engaged with a senior Hamas figure, but it was not Sinwar.
Hamas officials declined to comment on the matter. Sinwar, known for his secrecy and commitment to armed struggle, acquired fluency in Hebrew during his time spent in Israeli prisons.
As a co-founder of Hamas and former commander of its armed wing, Sinwar played a prominent role in the pursuit and punishment of Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel. He assumed the position of leader of Hamas in Gaza in 2017.
Although Lifshitz and another elderly woman hostage were released in late October for humanitarian reasons, Lifshitz’s husband, Oded, remains in captivity. Lifshitz stated that their captors had treated them well, providing regular doctor visits.
Nonetheless, her grandson revealed that she had suffered a severe stomach infection and significant weight loss during her time in captivity. He added that Lifshitz would not have survived much longer had she not been freed.
With the collapse of the truce that supported a hostage-prisoner exchange deal and the resumption of intense fighting in Gaza, the fate of the remaining hostages remains uncertain. Lifshitz informed her family that she has not seen her husband since their joint abduction on October 7.
Daniel shared the heart-wrenching detail that his grandmother’s last glimpse of her husband was during their motorcycle journey, emphasizing that they had been married for 63 years.