Former hostage reveals how Hamas captor demanded her hand in marriage

18-year-old Noga Weiss said her captor ‘gave me a ring’ and reunited her with kidnapped mother to seek approval


Former hostage Noga Weiss, 18, shared during an interview with Channel 12 how her Hamas captor asked to marry her on the 14th day of her time in captivity. (Photo: Channel 12 via X)

A former hostage has revealed that one of her captors demanded to marry her and insisted that she would remain in Gaza to raise his children even after all the other hostages were released.

Noga Weiss, 18, who was freed in a hostage deal after 50 days in captivity, recalled during a televised interview with Israel’s Channel 12 news how her captor confessed his love to her and “gave me a ring on day 14” of captivity.

“He told me, ‘Everyone will be released, but you will stay here with me and have my children.’”

Describing her reaction, Noga said: “I pretended to laugh so he wouldn’t shoot me in the head.”

On October 7, Noga was sheltering in the safe room of her parents’ home in Kibbutz Be’eri with her mother Shiri, 53, when Hamas militants “started shooting at the door, something like 40 shots until they managed to get in,” Noga said.

“We saw the conversations on WhatsApp and understood what was happening. People were writing that their house was on fire and then stopped answering.”

Shiri told her daughter to hide under the bed, thinking that the terrorists would shoot her upon entering the room and Noga might go unnoticed.

“I went under the bed, and they came in and took her. After they took her outside, I heard gunshots. I thought she was murdered and not kidnapped,” Noga said.

Her sister Meytal, 26, who sat with Noga during the Channel 12 interview, said that as Shiri was taken out of Be’eri, she saw houses going up in flames and feared that the same would be done to her own home, where Noga was hiding.

Meytal and her other sister Ma’ayan, 23, lived in student apartments in other parts of Be’eri and communicated with Noga via WhatsApp throughout the day. The older sisters, who hid in their safe rooms for 12 hours until IDF soldiers arrived, urged Noga to escape their parents’ house, which was going up in flames.

Noga managed to do so, crawling into some bushes for cover, but was quickly spotted by Hamas militants.

“Something like 40 terrorists surrounded me with Kalashnikovs. They tied my hands behind my back. As they took me away, I saw the bodies of people I knew from the kibbutz. A few minutes later, they put me in a car and started driving,” she said.

Meanwhile Noga’s father Ilan, 56, had left the home at 7:15am to join the kibbutz emergency squad. He was never heard from again, and it was later determined that he was killed in the clash with Hamas and his body was taken into Gaza.

Shiri was taken into Gaza separately from Noga, but the pair were reunited after several days so that the 18-year-old's Hamas captor could get the mother’s approval for their marriage.

Noga, who was made to wear a hijab and hold the hand of her captor so onlookers would assume they were married, explained the moment an “Arab-looking woman” arrived at the apartment where she was being held. She did not recognise that the woman was her mother.

“I thought she’d been murdered, I thought I was alone. Suddenly, she’s alive, and I’m not alone,” Noga said.

Shiri made it clear that she did not approve of the marriage proposal by Noga’s captor. Even so, Noga still worried that she would be forced to remain at his mercy in Gaza forever.

“People don’t understand the feeling of fear,” Noga said. “I was 50 days, 24/7, with the thought that they would get tired of me and just shoot me or that they wouldn’t need me in the end, or that they would shoot us while we slept in the middle of the night.”

She added: “Their moods changed so quickly. One minute they played with us and laughed, the next they’d come in with a gun. You always had to please them.”

Noga said she is unable to mourn the loss of her father while hostages still remain captive in Gaza.

“They have been there for an indescribable amount of time,” she said. “At one point, they brought us a half-liter bottle of water for two days. You can’t survive like this for 200 days.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive