Freed Hostage Testimonies: Nili Margalit

The Israeli nurse who took the unofficial role of treating fellow hostages in captivity

Elad Simchayoff
6 min readMar 7, 2024
Nili Marglit was freed after 55 days in Hamas captivity. Photo: Uvda, Keshet.

Nili Margalit is a nurse. She’s been treating patients at the ER for the past 12 years and says that it’s more than her profession, it’s who she is. “Helping people, diagnosing their illnesses, and caring for them, I love it. I think it protected me while I was there”, she told the Israeli program “Uvda”.

On October 7, Nili was abducted from her home in Nir Oz where she lives alone. She recalls her dog, Netchi, woke her up. Moments later, the ‘Red Alert’ sirens were heard, indicating that the Kibbutz was under a rocket attack. At this point, scores of Hamas terrorists already invaded the Kibbutz.

Nili’s home door was broken, and a 17-year-old entered. He first raided her fridge. “He grabbed three cans of whipping cream, and I looked at him with shock. ‘Is this actually what you decided to take?’”. He then threatened Nili and demanded money.

At this point, an older man armed with a large machete entered the house. Nili froze. The two men covered her with a bed sheet and forcefully dragged her out of the house. She was taken inside the Kibbutz’s cart — “A sort of a golf cart to move around the Kibbutz”, she explains — Then, her captors started driving her…

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Elad Simchayoff

I love writing about what I love. Israeli/British. Father, husband, dog person. Support me by joining Medium via this link: https://eladsi.medium.com/membership