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A Couple of Dates and Half a Pita: Hostages Are Being Starved, Their Health May Be Irreversibly Harmed

History has taught us often about the harsh conditions suffered by prisoners of war, but nothing compares to the nightmare endured by the Israeli hostages held in Gaza for nearly 8 months, under extremely difficult conditions. The amount of food they were given and the daily caloric intake, was akin to extreme starvation equal to that of Jews during the Holocaust.

Thus far there have been two groups released, one of women and children who were held for approximately 50 days and the second of older men who were freed in an IDF operation after 129 days in captivity. We can say definitively that the longer hostages are being held, the worse their condition.

What we have learned is that food was provided twice daily at different times, sometimes in the morning and evening hours and, in other cases, the first meal was given only in the afternoon. Meals consisted of rice, half a pita and some preserved cheese.

Some hostages were given vegetables early on, but as the war progressed, the amount of food was reduced. Some said they had been reduced to licking their plates in hunger. Women who were held in groups with young men described how they were physically abused and often given no more than two dates for breakfast and half a pita for dinner.

Under normal circumstances, women should not eat less than 1,200 calories a day, while men must have at least 1,500 calories. Less than that can cause hormonal damage, as was seen in the testimony of some of the women who said their menstruation stopped during their captivity. Their daily intake was 300 calories and 10 grams of protein a day and there were cases of punishment when food that was not consumed was given again on the next day or alternatively no food was given at all. (YNet / VFI News)

“Our Heavenly Father, we pray in Yeshua’s name for the hostages who are still held by Hamas and we ask that You please ensure that their nutritional needs are met daily. We pray for the former hostages who have been released and still suffer from physical disorders and emotional wounds, and we hope that You will hold them in Your arms and heal them. May You mediate the immediate release of all remaining hostages and help them rebuild their lives in time.”