TEL AVIV, Israel — An Israeli hostage freed by Hamas said in an interview that she was initially fed well in captivity until conditions worsened and people became hungry. She was kept in a “suffocating” room and slept on plastic chairs with a sheet for nearly 50 days.
In one of the first interviews with a freed hostage, 78-year-old Ruti Munder told Israel's Channel 13 television that she spent the entirety of her time with her daughter, Keren, and grandson, Ohad Munder-Zichri, who celebrated his ninth birthday in captivity. Her account, broadcast Monday, adds to the trickle of information about the experience of captives held in Gaza.
Munder was snatched Oct. 7 from her home in Nir Oz, a kibbutz in southern Israel. Her husband, Avraham, also 78, was taken hostage too and remains in Gaza. Her son was killed in the attack.
Initially, they ate “chicken with rice, all sorts of canned food and cheese,” Munder told Channel 13, in an audio interview. “We were OK.”
They were given tea in the morning and evening, and the children were given sweets. But the menu changed when “the economic situation was not good, and people were hungry.”
Israel has maintained a tight siege on Gaza since the war erupted, leading to shortages of food, fuel and other basic items.
Munder, who was freed Friday, returned in good physical condition, like most other captives. But one of the released hostages, an 84-year-old woman,…