In a popular video (since removed LinkedIn), a child is recounting their time as a "hostage" and says "it was fun". An Israeli later says

Each of the five hostages in her group received their own doctor and there was a paramedic present who supervised medication, she said. “They were very generous to us, very kind. They kept us clean,” Lifshitz said. “They took care of every detail. There are a lot of women and they know about feminine hygiene and they took care of everything there.”

The first claim turned out to be true, I was able to source that to CNN, but I can't find any reputable first hand source for this child.

Doing research on this I can't find much information. Except an Al-Jazeera report in Arabic, which claims the source was Hebrew Channel 13., translating this with Google into English from Arabic does in fact produce a translation of "it was fun".

Child: The rosary? Their religious necklace they call rosary.

Broadcaster: Rosary?

Child: Yes, the rosary is done like this (making movements with his fingers). They prayed and said prayers and taught me what to say. It was fun.

Presumably "rosary" is a mistranslation of Misbaha. Doing more searching on this I found the clip from the video reproduced in this YouTube short by Middle East Eye.

Did a child say in Hebrew that "it was fun", or "it was a fun experience by the way" (as translated in the short) in reference to their detainment by Hamas?

  • 2
    From this posted answer, “Yes. The rosary is used like this [shows how it's used with his hands]. They pray, so they told me how to say it and it was fun.” Yes, playing with beads was “fun” but the rest of it was hell. It’s like if I feed you a delicious meal, and then beat you; the meal was delicious! The beating? Eh, I could have done without it. Jan 24 at 1:31

1 Answer 1


No, he described his time in detention as "not good" and thoughts about it still haunt him.

The child in question is 9 years old Ohad Munder-Zichri whose grandfather, 78-year-old Avraham Munder, is still held in Hamas captivity for more than 100 days and counting, and his condition is unknown.

Ohad was taken from his home at the point of a gun and was held in captivity for 49 days without any connection to the outside world, in constant hunger. He slept on the floor and could wait for hours to be allowed to go to the toilet. Cherry picking a single word from an interview and trying to portray his captivity experience as "fun" is extremely cynical and should be the dictionary definition of taking out of context. If we do chose to select a single phrase to summarize his experience it would be

זה לא טוב. זה לא טוב.

It's not good. It's not good.

it's not good screenshot

The interview was broadcasted on Jan. 12 2024 on the Israeli Channel 13 evening news. His interview starts at 01:15:00. The video has subtitles so that there is no ambiguity about what is said. The full transcript with my translation is below.

אני בעצמי יודע חלק מהתנאים שם. אני, כשאני חושב על זה, אני די יודע מה הולך שם. זה לא טוב. זה לא טוב.

בכל מקום זה תנאים שונים. נגיד, אנחנו היינו באיזה בית חולים. הביאו אוכל שונה מאשר לכאלה שהיו במנהרות. שתי ארוחות ביום, לפעמים ארוחה אחת ביום. לאט לאט זה מגודל כזה לגודל כזה, לשקית כזאת. כמעט שאין אוכל. היה רעב, תמיד. צריך לדפוק בדלת בשביל ללכת לשירותים. לפעמים יכולים לפתוח אחרי חמש דקות, אחרי חצי דקה, אחרי שעה וחצי. גם אם הם שומעים אותך, הם יכולים פשוט לעשות כאילו שהם לא שומעים אותך. השינה הייתה קשה. ראש על מזרון וכל שאר הגוף על הרצפה כי אין להם מיטות, אין להם כל כך הרבה מזרנים. כדי לחסוך מקום, היינו ארבעה ילדים. שלושה ילדים היו עם ראש וכל השאר על הרצפה.

היו שם גם דברים, נגיד, מצחיקים?

מישהו הוציא בדיחה מדי פעם. גם היינו חייבים להמציא משחקים מהראש. נגיד הביאו לנו חפיסת קלפים. עם זה העברנו את רב השהות שם, קלפים, עד שהם נקרעו ואז היה לנו ניירות אז הכנו קלפים מנייר.


אבל הם עפו ברוח, אז הייתה קצת בעיה. היינו חייבים להיות יצירתיים. ציירנו, הרבה מאוד. כשהשתחררנו, אמרו לנו, "אין דפים, אין כלום. אם אתם לוקחים... אם אנחנו עולים עליכם שלקחתם משהו, אתם לא חוזרים הביתה." אז השארנו את כל הדברים.

למדת קמת ערבית בשבי?


איזה מילים למשל?


מה זה?


והברכה הזאת עם הזה... איך אתה...


התפילה, התפילה

השרשרת המסורתית שלהם, "מסבחה" קוראים לזה.


כן. השרשרת שעושים ככה. הם מתפללים, אז הם אמרו לי איך להגיד וזה היה כיף.


"סובחאן אללה. אל חמד ללה. לא אלה אלא אללה. אללה אכבר"

אתה חושב הרבה על מה שהיה שם?

ברגעים שאני די לבד, כן.

כשאתה לבד?

ברגע שאני לבד יחסית כן כי אם אני עם החברים, אני לא חושב על זה. גם עדיף שלא. הרגעים של השבי, מחשבות לא בהכרח טובות.

ואז מה אתה עושה?

לפעמים, אם זה בשינה, מבקש שאמא תבוא אלי קצת להוציא לי את המחשבות או אבא שישרוק לי את השריקה שהוא שורק לי.

מה? איזו שריקה?

I myself know some of the conditions there. I, come to think of it, I kind of know what's going on there. it's not good. it's not good.

Everywhere it's different conditions. Let's say, we were in some hospital. They brought [us] different food than [to] those who were in the tunnels. Two meals a day, sometimes one meal a day. Little by little it goes from this size to this size, to this bag [shows with hands a smaller and smaller size]. There is almost no food. There was hunger, always. You have to knock on the door to go to the bathroom. Sometimes they can open after five minutes, after half a minute, after an hour and a half. Even if they hear you, they can just pretend they don't hear you. Sleep was difficult. Head on a mattress and the rest of the body on the floor because they don't have beds, they don't have that many mattresses. To save space, we were four children. Three children had their heads [on the mattress] and the rest [of the body] on the floor.

Were there also, shall we say, funny things?

Someone cracked a joke every now and then. We also had to invent games from scratch. They brought us a deck of cards. With that we spent most of the stay there, cards, until they got torn and then we had papers so we made cards out of paper.


But they flew away in the wind, so there was a bit of a problem. We had to be creative. We drew, a lot. When we were released, they told us, "There are no papers, there is nothing. If you take... if we find out that you took something, you won't go home." So we left everything.

Did you learn Arabic in captivity?


What words for example?


What is?


And this blessing with this... how are you...


The prayer, the prayer

Their traditional rosary, "Misbaha" they call it.


Yes. The rosary is used like this [shows how it's used with his hands]. They pray, so they told me how to say it and it was fun.


"Subhan-allah al-hamdu lillah la ilaha illallah allahu akbar"

Do you think much about what was there?

In moments when I'm quite alone, yes.

When you are alone?

When I'm relatively alone, yes, because if I'm with friends, I don't think about it. It's also better not to. The time in captivity, the thoughts are not necessarily good.

Then what do you do?

Sometimes, if it's in my sleep, I ask mom to come to me for a little to clear my thoughts or dad to whistle me the whistle he whistles to me.

What? what whistle?

[The dad whistles]

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