‘It is a great privilege to be here’: Israeli hostage publicly speaks out for the first time since being rescued

Noa Argamani, one of the Israeli hostages who was safely returned home, said her “biggest worry” was not surviving but her parents. She spoke publicly for the first time on Saturday about the horrifying development that took place on October 7, according to the New York Post.

Argamani, 26, was abducted by Hamas terrorists on October 7 amid a surprise attack against the Jewish state. She was attending the Nova music festival and was held as a hostage in the Gaza Strip for 246 days before she was eventually rescued by Israeli forces.

‘I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that there are 120 more hostages in Hamas captivity, and among them is Avinatan Or, my partner from whom I was separated at the moment of the abduction.’

In a video that was released by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, Argamani said, “As an only child to my parents, and a child to a mother with a terminal illness, my biggest worry in captivity was for my parents.”

“It is a great privilege to be here after 246 days in Hamas Captivity. It is great privilege to be by my mother’s side after eight months of uncertainty,” she added.

The two-minute video clip was played in Tel Aviv on Saturday as part of a call for the return of the remaining hostages still in captivity under Hamas. Argamani’s mother, Liora, said she has stage 4 brain cancer and only wanted to see her child one last time before passing away. She even wrote a letter to President Joe Biden about the situation.

While Argamani was safely returned home, she mentioned that her partner, Avinatan Or, has remained in captivity in Gaza.

“I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that there are 120 more hostages in Hamas captivity, and among them is Avinatan Or, my partner from whom I was separated at the moment of the abduction.”

“Although I’m at home now, we cannot forget the hostages who are still in Hamas captivity, and we must do everything that’s possible to bring them back home,” she added.

Women were specifically targeted during the October 7 attack, many of whom were victims of violent sexual assault.

“Wonder Woman” actress, Gal Gadot, drew attention to the situation in December 2023, writing on Instagram: “We claim we stand against rape, violence against women. We will not let women be victimized and then silenced. We say we believe women. Stand with women. Speak out for women.”

“On October 7th, the world witnessed Hamas carrying out its violent plans in real time. Within hours of the October 7th attack, the first blood-chilling video emerged of Shani Louk being paraded naked and defiled by her proud assailants,” Gadot wrote on the social media platform, referring to Shani Louk, the German-Israeli tattoo artist who was kidnapped by Hamas.

Gadot continued: “Yet two months later women are still hostage to these rapists and the world has failed to call this situation what it is: an urgent emergency that demands a decisive response.”

“This is our moment as women and allies of women to act. I am beseeching all those who have done so much for women’s rights globally – from the UN, to the human rights community, to please join in the demand that Hamas release every single woman hostage immediately – not after the next round of international mediation, not after another day. These women cannot survive another moment of this horror.”

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