Elma Avraham
Elma AvrahamCourtesy of the photographer

Tali Amano, daughter of 84-year-old Elma Avraham, on Monday spoke at Soroka Medical Center, where her mother is receiving critical care after being returned from captivity.

"My mother arrived on the brink of death," Amano said. "She was forsaken twice. She was forsaken once on October 7th, and was abandoned a second time by all the organizations that should have saved her and prevented this dire situation."

“My name is Tali (Tal) Amano, I am the daughter of Elma Avraham, sister of Uri Ravitz and Roei Avraham. We waited for my mother for 52 days. My mother is 84 years old, a grandmother and great-grandmother. She is a happy woman, incredibly optimistic. She was taken out of her house and kidnapped on a motorcycle, she was functioning. Without a foreign caregiver, despite the fact that everyone who saw her on that motorcycle seemed to think she had a foreign caregiver."

"She lived independently, cooked for herself, and took care of all of her needs - including taking her prescription medication to deal with her chronic illnesses. She suffered from thyroid disease, heart disease, and autoimmune disease. But all of these chronic illnesses were managed and taken care of - her health was stable."

Amano continued, "Just a week before October 7th, she’d hosted all of us at her home. We were able to make her happy, informing her of her grandson’s engagement. She was happy, she was communicative, and very close with the entire community of Nahal Oz. But they were all forsaken."

"My mother was completely neglected medically. We were so overjoyed to see those that returned before her: they returned in relatively good health, with a smile or a wave - whether it be forced by their captors or not. My mother did not have that luxury. She did not deserve to return as she did. My mother was completely neglected medically. This neglect lasted the entire time of her captivity. She was not given her life-saving medication.

"For those who don’t understand, from a medical perspective, my mother arrived on the brink of death. She was forsaken twice. She was forsaken once on October 7th, and was abandoned a second time by all the organizations that should have saved her and prevented this dire situation. The entire family mobilized immediately after realizing she was kidnapped, quickly moving to organize her list of medications."

Amano explained, "My brother met with a representative of the Red Cross and tried to give them her medications. They told him, 'No, we can't take her medications.' Just a few days later we went to the protest with all of the medical professionals in front of the Red Cross building. We met their representatives there again, and again we were turned away at the entrance: 'You came again with all of her medications?'

"My mother did not have to return this way. I do not know what the next days bring for her, and if she will survive. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the people who are involved in my mother’s care: the Hostages’ Families Forum, Clalit Healthcare, the Ministry of Health, and the medical team here at Soroka Hospital. I hope you succeed in saving her. I hope they did not succeed in destroying her. My mother is a strong woman.

"The only reason that we stand here sharing this private information is not to gain attention or to play the victim - but to save the innocent people who are still held hostage there. So that the world will implore the Red Cross and all the other humanitarian, feminist organizations operating in the area to cry out this plea.

"Because, if they will not, then why are these organizations even there? Why is the Red Cross there? Why are the women’s rights organizations there?"