Israeli-Russian Roni Krivoi, who was released by Hamas on Sunday as part of the terrorist group’s ceasefire deal with Israel, had previously escaped captivity but was recaptured by Gaza civilians, according to his aunt, Elena Magid.
Krivoi was released in addition to 13 Israeli women and children and three Thai nationals as a gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who requested his release.
Magid revealed to Kan News radio that after being captured by Hamas terrorists during the Oct. 7 mass assault on southern Israel, Krivoi was held in a building in Gaza that collapsed due to Israeli airstrikes.
“He managed to escape and hid alone for several days. He tried to reach the [Israeli] border. In the end, the Gazans caught him and returned him to the hands of the terrorists,” said Magid.
Krivoi was part of the production team at the Nova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im where at least 350 people were murdered by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.
His aunt said that it was out of place to separate him from the other 13 Israelis released on Sunday.
“Roni was born in Israel and grew up here, his mother tongue is Hebrew. When he was a child, his parents took care of [his] Russian citizenship, but regardless he is an Israeli citizen. This hurts us as citizens of Israel. We have been here for more than 30 years,” she said.
Magid also updated on his condition:
“I asked him if he has nightmares, [and] he said yes, but that’s good because it means he’s coping. He has a few head wounds because he was hit by a stone during the collapse of the building, but he’s fine; he’s being checked. Roni is always laughing and smiling. What gave us hope from the first day is that we know the boy, and a boy who is always smiling can manage no matter what the conditions are.”