Israeli woman taken hostage by Hamas watched terrorists tell Yarden Bibas of family’s ‘fate’

Nili Margalit said Yarden was already in a poor psychological state due to worrying about his young family


Nili Margalit speaks to Channel 12's Uvda on January 4, 2024 (Channel 12)

An Israeli woman who was held hostage by Hamas terrorists for 50 days has revealed that she was with Yarden Bibas, the father of Ariel and Kfir, when he found out about his family's reported deaths.

Nili Margalit, a nurse from Kibbutz Nir Oz, was with the father when he was forced to film a propaganda video blaming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for refusing to return his family’s bodies to Israel.

Yarden Bibas, 34, his wife, Shiri, 32 and their two boys, Ariel, 4 and Kfir, then 9 months, were kidnapped from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7 by Hamas.

Yarden was separated from his wife and young sons. Kfir, a small baby, was the youngest hostage taken by the terror group.

In an interview with Channel 12’s Uvda investigative programme, Margalit, 40, said that the Hamas captors told her she would be released, but her and her fellow hostage, Yoram Metzger, had to deliver the “news” about the Bibas family to Yarden before her release.

Margalit said: “I told Yoram, if they [Hamas] want to tell him such a terrible thing, let them tell him themselves.

“Let him look him in the eyes and tell him himself. He [the Hamas terrorist] knows Hebrew.”

When the Hamas terrorist told Yarden the “news”, Metzger was forced to translate the Arabic into Hebrew.

She recalled how another Hamas captor filmed Yarden’s reaction to his young family’s supposed death and forced the distraught father to speak to a camera.

Margalit said Yarden was already in a poor psychological state due to his worry about his young family and broke down when the Hamas captors told him the news.

Moments later, Margalit was swept away from Yarden and released that evening on November 30. Yarden Bibas and Yoram Metzger remain in captivity, as do the rest of the Bibas family.

The IDF has said that claims made by Hamas about the Bibas family have not been verified and has described Hamas’ claims as “psychological terror”.

Margalit also said that she told the terrorists that she was a nurse so she could help hostages who needed medication.

"They asked for a list of medications for the people who were there. I volunteered, I told them that I am a nurse and am getting to work." Among those she treated were Amiram Cooper, Avraham Munder and Margalit Mozes.

Margalit also described how she was kept in the Hamas tunnel network with dozens of other hostages, saying: "We went into a very dark place, there was no air in it, and there was a city there, there was the lower Gaza. They call it, by the way, the Lower Gaza."

She added: "This was organised, this was planned, this was arranged. It was waiting for this day."

The nurse said that people from outside came into the tunnel: "People are always passing through the site, even officials."

After 54 days in captivity, Margalit was released by Hamas. She was one of 105 civilians freed during a week long truce.

A day after her release, on December 1, the IDF confirmed the death of her father, Eliyahu Margalit, whose body remains in Gaza.

It is believed that 132 hostages abducted by Hamas on October 7 remain in Gaza — not all of them alive. The IDF has confirmed the deaths of 25 of those held captive by Hamas.

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