IDF soldier freed from Hamas issues first public message: 'I’m happy I got my life back'

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Pvt. Ori Megidish, who was freed by Israeli forces during a raid in the Gaza Strip after being kidnapped by Hamas on Oct. 7, has issued her first public message since being rescued.

“Hi, I’m Ori Megidish. I returned home nearly a month ago, and first of all I’m happy to see the moving videos of hostages who are returning to their families. I hope and wish that all the families still waiting for captives reunite with them and experience moments like I did,” she said in a video posted to social media.

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“I hope everyone comes back, and they will come back, God willing. I’m okay, and I’m at home with my family, enjoying and I’m happy I got my life back,” added Megidish.

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Megidish was among some 240 people taken back to Gaza during Hamas’s assault on Oct. 7, which killed at least 1,200 people and wounded over 5,000.

She had been serving in the IDF’s Nahal Oz Base near the Gaza border as a spotter after enlisting six months ago.

After the news broke of her return, celebrations broke out in her hometown of Kiryat Gat in southern Israel.

“Thanks to the Creator of the World, thanks to our soldiers,” Megidish’s aunt said during an emotional interview with Channel 12. “Thank you to the people of Israel … we are very excited.”

A day later, Megidish’s mother gave a statement to the press outside the family’s home.

“Dear people of Israel, we thank you all for your prayers and support. Our Ori has returned home, and now the prayers are with the rest of the kidnapped and the missing, and our hearts are with all the families,” said Margalit Megidish.

“Thank you, Creator of the world. There is nothing besides you. Thank you, Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency]. Thank you, IDF and security forces. Thank you all,” she added.

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