The hostages who have been freed by Hamas from the Gaza Strip were given tranquilizer pills before being transferred to Israel in a bid to make them appear happier following their treatment in captivity, a report says.
Dr. Hagar Mizrahi, the head of the Israeli Ministry of Health’s medical division, told the Israeli government about the alleged druggings on Tuesday, according to The Times of Israel.
The newspaper reports that Mizrahi named the drug clonazepam, which is known outside of Israel as Klonopin and Rivotril. It would have made the hostages appear calm, happy and upbeat after suffering physical abuse, deprivation and psychological terror at the hands of the Palestinian terrorist group, the report said.
The National Institutes of Health describes clonazepam as being “used to relieve panic attacks,” among other purposes.
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The hostages, who spent more than 50 days in captivity, were first handed over to the International Red Cross before being transferred to Israel.
More than 240 people, Israelis and foreign nationals, were abducted to Gaza on Oct. 7 by Hamas terrorists who overran the border and massacred 1,200 people, according to the Israeli government.
Israel has responded with a fierce bombing campaign and ground operations in a military mission to wipe out the terrorist group.
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Israel and Hamas reached a temporary cease-fire agreement that took effect on Nov. 24, during which 110 hostages were freed by the terrorist group in exchange for some 240 Palestinian prisoners. The truce ended and fighting resumed on Nov. 30 after both sides accused the other of violating its terms.
A doctor who treated freed Hamas hostages in Israel told Fox News survivors are suffering from an unprecedented level of “extremely severe psychological abuse.”
“I can tell you that on behalf of all the medical and psychological teams treating those who return, the mental states we encountered have no precedent in medical literature. We feel that we have to rewrite the textbooks of post-trauma,” Dr. Renana Eitan said on “Sunday Night in America.”
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Eitan revealed the Tel Aviv Medical Center is actively treating more than 15 former hostages and described their “severe physical and mental abuse.” He claimed they were subject to “starvation, beating and sexual abuse” while being held in “inhumane sanitary conditions” by the terror group.
“Children were forced to watch brutal videos. They were under constant threats by weapons and threats to harm them even after they were released. They refer to the forced use of psychiatric drugs and other substances,” Eitan said.
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Israel’s military said Monday that 137 hostages, including women and children, remain held by Hamas terrorists inside the Gaza Strip.
“We have a moral obligation to continue to do everything to bring everyone home,” the Israel Defense Forces wrote on X.
Fox News Digital’s Christopher Lopez and Reuters contributed to this report.