“50 Days of Psychological Warfare: Israeli Hostage Describes Hamas Captivity
Neta Golan, a 62-year-old Israeli woman, was kidnapped by Hamas militants and held for 50 days in captivity. After being released, she is now free and has spoken out about the psychological warfare she faced during her captivity. She was traveling with a group of Palestinians who were released in exchange for the release of four Hamas-affiliated militants in Israeli custody. After their trip, they were taken to a shelter and kept there against their will. Golan said that the captors tried to psychologically break her and the other captives during their 50 days of captivity. She described the captors using psychological tactics such as interrogations, psychological intimidation, and threats of violence. She also said that when they refused to answer questions, the captors would play music loudly, and that they were able to see television broadcasts of torture and executions. The captives were reportedly held in an underground cell and fed a very limited diet. Furthermore, they were deprived of medical treatment and were not allowed to leave the shelter. In her own words, Golan said, “It was very intense, psychological warfare. We were not physically hurt, but the psychological warfare was all-consuming.” Golan was released from the shelter in early April and is now back in Israel. During her time in captivity, her family kept her story in the public eye and never stopped fighting for her release. The psychological warfare she experienced during her captivity is an example of just how frightening and harrowing captivity can be. The ordeal is a reminder of how important it is to stand up against violence and do whatever we can to protect the innocent.