Hamas drugged Israeli hostages before they were released, an official from the Israeli Health Ministry confirmed.
Ronit Endevelt, the head of the Nutrition Department in the Israeli Health Ministry, confirmed to the Knesset Health Committee during a meeting that hostages had been given drugs “so they would look happy” as they were being released, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Israeli Health Ministry Head of General Medicine Hagar Mizrahi confirmed during the meeting that hostages were given “Clonex” in order to “improve their mood.”
Clonex, the Israeli name for what is referred to as Klonopin in the United States, is used to prevent and control seizures, as well as panic attacks. It calms the brain and nerves, according to WebMD.
“This is part of the psychological terror Hamas put [the hostages] through,” explained Likud lawmaker Saada. “A pill like this, for someone who is not used to its influence, works quickly to give you a feeling that you’re high when their mental state was actually very low.”
Hamas and Israel resumed fighting after a week-long truce agreement resulting in more than 100 hostages being released, ended.
The confirmation that the hostages had been drugged came after Saada questioned claims on social media alleging that the hostages had looked at their captors with affection.
Along with being drugged, hostages reportedly also endured starvation, physical and psychological abuse, and were deprived of medication while in Hamas’ captivity.
The Israeli Health Ministry provided a presentation that showed the majority of the hostages released lost a large portion of their body weight. Doctors treating the hostages said they were experiencing malnutrition after losing 10-20% of their body weight and lacking in Vitamin D due to being exposed to a lack of sunlight.
Endevelt added that prior to their release, hostages were given food to appear healthier than they actually were.
State Department spokesman Matthew Miller suggested that Hamas was refusing to release the remaining female hostages held in Gaza because the terrorist group doesn’t want them to speak about what they endured while held as hostages, according to Axios. Miller added that he was unable to confirm his comments “with a definitive assessment that that is the case.”