The Oknin couple
The Oknin couple Facebook

Natali Oknin, one of the Israelis arrested last week after photographing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Palace in Istanbul, spoke with her family from prison Wednesday.

Natali said over the phone: "It's hard for me but I'm getting by." She asked if her daughters were still alive and said: "I had thoughts and dreams, I thought maybe something was being hidden from me. I'm strong. Sing me my favorite song. They treat me well all the time."

Her family assured her that they were all fine, and Natali said: "I'm strong, if you're strong, I'm strong,"

Natali said that the prison guards did not hit her.

"I always had a young woman with me. If I had to go to the bathroom she would accompany me. It's hard for me, hard for me, but I'm managing. They bring me chocolate, they brought me a big box of chocolate to spread like Nutella. They bring me fresh bread every day."

She said she has a window in her prison cell. "I see sunrise, I see sunset, I see night, I see everything, I see many planes."

One of her daughters told her: “Mom, we are strong, I swear to you… We are all waiting for you… We are never alone.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett spoke to the families of Natali and Mordy Oknin earlier Wednesday.

The Prime Minister reiterated that he stood by the members of the family, who are currently facing a complicated situation, and expressed his solidarity with them.

Prime Minister Bennett thanked the family for its responsible and restrained conduct in light of the complexity of the issue, and updated them on the multi-faceted efforts being made around the clock, led by the Foreign Ministry, to resolve the matter forthwith.

Prime Minister Bennett requested that the family show fortitude and noted that his staff is at their disposal 24-7 for anything.

Israel has maintained that the Otkins are innocent civilians and has been trying to secure their release through diplomatic channels.

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