The mother of a hostage whose gaunt face was paraded by Hamas thugs in a sickening video last week has told how her daughter’s eyes ‘are empty’.
Simona Steinbrecher, 63, had no idea Doron was even alive until the terrorists released the cruel footage of her alongside Daniela Gilboa and Karina Ariev, both 19.
Once a bright, fun-loving 30-year-old, the veterinary nurse appeared sallow and anaemic following the unimaginable torment she has suffered since being kidnapped on October 7.
‘It was so scary, she has definitely aged,’ Simona said, shuddering as she recalls the twisted propaganda video. ‘Her eyes didn’t move, they are empty. She is so thin and pale.’
Doron Steinbrecher once a bright, fun-loving 30-year-old, the veterinary nurse appeared sallow and anaemic following the unimaginable torment she has suffered since being kidnapped on October 7
Doron Steinbrecher (pictured) was one of more than 240 people who were dragged into Gaza by Hamas gunmen during the group’s October 7 terror attack on southern Israel
Simona Steinbrecher, 63, had no idea Doron was even alive until the terrorists released the cruel footage of her alongside Daniela Gilboa and Karina Ariev, both 19
The special needs teacher spoke to the Daily Mail in Tel Aviv in a rare interview about her daughter to increase pressure for a deal to free all the remaining hostages.
It comes as hopes are rising for a ceasefire to return them with Hamas and Israel reportedly having agreed to the ‘substance’ of an arrangement that would see civilians released.
A resolution could be reached within weeks, officials told The Times, following mediations led by Qatar and Egypt for a 40-day ceasefire.
But Hamas is yet to commit itself to the deal and Simona stressed the urgency to get the deal done for her daughter who requires daily medication.
Doron was kidnapped from Kibbutz Kfar Aza three months ago, and the family had not had any word on her since.
Hamas, which use psychological warfare tactics with hostage videos, released the video in three parts. The first showed the faces of her, Daniela and Karina above a sand timer, a second showed a question mark before the terrorists made the families wait three hours before running footage showing them begging for their release.
‘During these hours, roughly three hours, I couldn’t breathe,’ said Simona.
Simona said she watched the video four times, ‘until it sank in’, each time noticing something different about her daughter
Despite numerous pleas for Doron to receive her medication, Simona is sure she isn’t being treated
Simona, who lives with husband Roni, 63, in Central Israel. ‘I stopped living. I feel as if years of my life have been taken from me.’
Simona says she watched the video four times, ‘until it sank in’, each time noticing something different about her daughter.
‘She is supposed to take medication every day for a serious condition but we do not know if she has received anything,’ she said.
‘Not one released hostage had seen Doron, no one knew anything about her, it has been the most agonising time.
‘Now looking at the video I fear her health is rapidly deteriorating. I just want her back home so I can hug her and take care of her.’
Despite numerous pleas for Doron to receive her medication, Simona is sure she isn’t being treated.
Simona said: ‘I have nothing to say about the Red Cross other than from the beginning we told them she needs medication.
‘We asked for proof that she is receiving her medication as we know Israel sent batches to hostages, but looking at Doron’s face I am sure she didn’t get anything.
‘The Red Cross’ response was that it was dangerous for teams to enter Gaza as they had to look after their teams and that they had to remain neutral
Doron was captured from her safe room where she was hiding under her bed. Her mother says there is a phone recording she sent to her friends’ WhatsApp group saying they had ‘got me’ shortly after speaking to her mother.
Simona and Roni were hiding in their safe room for 30 hours on another part of Kibbutz Kfar Aza where she says she saw through the window Hamas terrorists dressed as Israel Defence Forces.
Doron’s sister, Yamit Ashkenazi ,was also hiding with her two little children, aged three and six, who miraculously survived
Simona said: ‘Such horrible things happened on our Kibbutz. One couple were found beheaded but with their heads swapped with each other’s body. Unimaginable things.’
For Simona all she thinks about every moment is her daughter and the other hostages and she won’t be able to live any kind of life until they are returned.
She said: ‘The most important thing is to convey to the world the urgency in the need to release our hostages.’