The release of a woman “gives hope” to the families of Hamas hostages

A British psychotherapist whose elderly mother is being held hostage by Hamas has said the recent release of another Briton's mother gives him “some hope” for the future.

Noam Sagi's 75-year-old mother, Ada, was taken hostage after the militant group entered Kibbutz Nir Oz near the Gaza border on October 7.

Speaking after a press conference at the Israeli embassy on Tuesday, he described the release of Sharon Lifsich's mother, who lives in London, Yocheved as the “best news” he had had since the invasion.

He told the PA news agency: “She is a very, very dear friend and a close member of the community where I grew up.

“I am very happy. It's the best news I've had since this whole thing started.

“I'm very, very happy that it's back in safe hands. It gives me hope of course.

“It's a paradoxical situation. We talk about crimes against humanity, but we expect humanity to prevail.”

Ofri Bibas Levy, whose brother Jordan, his wife Siri, their four-year-old son Ariel and nine-month-old baby boy Kfir were taken hostage, told reporters the releases were “like torture”.

He said: “We cannot forget what happened. These releases are like torture for us. It's really torture.”

Ayelet Svatitzky, whose mother and brother were taken home and whose older brother was murdered, said: “On a personal level, someone's mother came home, maybe not my mother.

“Someone's mother came home yesterday, it's the beginning, it's far from the end.”

David Barr, whose sister-in-law Naomi was murdered on her morning run, told reporters: “They're releasing two people as if to show the world how compassionate they are?”

Ms Lifschitz told BBC Radio 4's Today program that her mother wants to pass on information about any hostages she was with.

He told the broadcaster: “Seeing my mum again is an incredible thing – holding her hand and kissing her cheek.

“I'm so proud of her, she's amazing. The way he left and came back and said thank you was unbelievable to me. That's how she is.

“She's very perceptive and she's very willing to share the information, get the information out to families of other hostages that she's been with.”

Mr Sagi told the programme: “I really want to hope that (my mother) sits somewhere and does something that no politician can do, (that) she uses Arabic skills to talk to people and possibly do something.

“The other option is to follow negative, worrying thoughts about what could happen, and I don't want to go there.”

The Foreign Office has said it will “continue to work tirelessly” to secure the release of more hostages.