Middle East

My daughter 'felt like a queen' in Gaza, released Israeli captive writes in letter

In letter to Al-Qassam Brigades members, Danielle Aloni writes about the good treatment she and her daughter received while in Gaza captivity

Zein Khalil  | 28.11.2023 - Update : 04.12.2023
My daughter 'felt like a queen' in Gaza, released Israeli captive writes in letter


An Israeli captive released from Gaza this week wrote a letter praising the good treatment by members of the Al-Qassam Brigades, saying her captive daughter “felt like a queen.”

The letter, published on Monday evening by the brigades, was written by Danielle Aloni on her behalf and her daughter Emilia, 5, who was released on Nov. 24 as part of the humanitarian pause deal in Gaza between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas. The brigades are Hamas’ armed wing.

In the letter dated Nov. 23, Aloni wrote that Emilia said the captors were "like parents to her" and that she had the "feeling like all of you are her friends, not just friends, but truly beloved and good."

"Thank you for the many hours you spent as caregivers," Aloni wrote.

"Children should not be in captivity, but thanks to you and other kind people we met along the way, my daughter felt like a queen in Gaza," she said.

She also said the treatment her daughter received "did not leave her with psychological trauma forever."

Saying, "I wish in this world we could truly be good friends," she also expressed warm wishes for her captors’ "health and well-being, and love to you and your families' children."

Under a prisoner swap deal since last Friday, 50 Israelis were released in exchange for 150 Palestinian women and children released from Israeli jails. The releases took place in four batches during the four days of the humanitarian pause, which late Monday was extended for two additional days.

Israel launched a massive military campaign in the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.

It has since killed more than 15,000 Palestinians, including 6,150 children and more than 4,000 women, according to health authorities in the enclave.

The official Israeli death toll stands at 1,200.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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