Jack Keane on Hamas drugging, branding child hostages: ‘These people are monsters’
FOX News senior strategic analyst Jack Keane joined ‘FOX & Friends’ to discuss the disturbing new details as the cease-fire with Israel expires.
A family member of two Israeli boys released from Hamas captivity this week said they were branded like cattle, among other abuses, in the weeks they were held in Gaza since Oct. 7, according to a report.
Brothers Yagil Yaakov, 12, and Or Yaakov, 16, were freed Wednesday during a temporary cease-fire that saw the release of approximately 110 hostages. Their uncle said the terrorists branded each boy by using the exhaust pipe of a motorcycle to identify them in case they escaped, the Times of Israel reported.
“They told us stories about what they went through inside Gaza. The stories are horrible,” Yaniv Yaakov said in North Macedonia with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen. “Each child that was taken by Hamas was taken on a motorbike, and they took every child, took his leg and put it on the exhaust of that motorbike, so they have a burn, so they will be marked if they run, if they escape, so [Hamas] can find them.”
He added, “They were drugged, they were treated so badly, but at least they are with us.”
STORIES OF TORTURE, TORMENT REVEALED BY ISRAELI CHILDREN KIDNAPPED BY HAMAS TERRORISTS
Palestinian Hamas terrorists are seen during a military show in the Bani Suheila district on July 20, 2017 in Gaza City. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett confirmed the details of the branding on social media platform X, saying, “We now know that Hamas terrorists who held hostage 13-year-old Yagel Yaacov and his brother Or, used a boiling hot motorcycle exhaust to ‘imprint’ a burn on their legs as a way to identify them if they try to escape.”
“Let me repeat: They took a boiling piece of metal and pinned it to the legs of a helpless 13-year-old captive child,” he added.
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When a user pressed him for evidence of the claim, he said he met with the children and saw their scars.
A woman holds a flag of Israel and a portrait of 13-year-old Alma, held hostage in Gaza since the October 7 attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel, during a protest asking for the release of Israeli hostages in Tel Aviv on Nov. 25, 2023. (GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images)
The gruesome account out of Gaza is the latest in a growing list of stories of torture and torment revealed by Israeli children released during the temporary cease-fire and the Israeli hostage-for-Palestinian prisoner exchange.
Vivian Hadar, the aunt of Mia Schem, 21, who was freed Thursday, said her young niece was taken from the Nova music festival, where she was shot in the arm. She had to endure the pain of the gunshot wound while she was being held hostage, only receiving treatment from a Palestinian veterinarian, the Times of Israel reported.
“She underwent trauma. She’s thin, she’s weak,” Hadar told reporters. “She did physical therapy for herself. We’re happy she’s with us. It’s really tough to see her like this.”
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Moran Aloni, the relative of five released hostages — two of his sisters and three nieces — said the terrorists often withheld food and only fed them to keep them alive.
An Israeli couple holding their national flag walk in front of graffiti calling for the release of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip since the October 7 attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel, in Jerusalem on Nov. 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images)
“There wasn’t food every day. And if there was something one day, it was not something you could count on to satisfy you. It kept them alive,” he told Channel 12.
Other hostages said they were separated from family members during their captivity and repeatedly told them that “Israel gave up on them” to lower morale, the Times of Israel reported.
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Deborah Cohen, the aunt of 12-year-old Eitan Yahalomi, who was freed on Monday, told French TV Channel BFM on Tuesday that terrorists jeered and beat him. They also forced him at gunpoint to watch raw video footage of the horrors they carried out on Oct. 7, she said.
“It is the kind of horror film that no one wants to see,” Cohen said. “They forced him to watch it and if he or any of the other children cried, the terrorists threatened them with a gun to keep quiet.”
An undated photo of Mia Schem, 21, who was released by Hamas after being held captive in the Israel-Hamas war. (Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum)
Medical personnel treating the released Israeli hostages also detailed the physical and mental impact of their living conditions with Hamas in Gaza.
Dr. Yael Mozer Glassberg, a senior physician in the Department of Returned Children at the Schneider Medical Center in Tel Aviv, a member of the specially assembled team tasked with treating the returned hostages, told Fox News Digital, “It is very, very quiet here.”
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According to Glassberg, many of the Israeli hostages lost up to 15% of their body weight during their 50-day captivity with the terrorists.
People wave flags and cheer as a second helicopter with Israeli hostages released earlier by Hamas lands at Schneider medical centre on the third day of the temporary truce where they disembarked behind screens as family and friends wait nearby on Nov. 26, 2023 in Petah Tikva, Israel. (Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
Dr. Itai Pessach, director of Safra Children’s Hospital at Sheba Medical Center, said at a press conference that the hostages have “undergone hardship, physically and mentally,” the Times of Israel reported. “I feel the need to make their cry heard. The world needs to know how evil and cruel the behavior of Hamas is.”
He did not identify the hostages due to the patients’ privacy.
Hamas terrorists initially took about 240 hostages during their Oct. 7 attack on Israeli border communities. During the attack, the Hamas-led forces killed about 1,200 Israelis.
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During the week-long cease-fire, Israeli and Hamas negotiators struck a deal for about 110 hostages. The released hostages included 86 Israelis and 24 foreign nationals.
As of Friday, approximately 137 hostages still remain under Hamas custody in the Gaza Strip.
Fox News’ Ruth Marks Eglash contributed to this report.