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Proof-of-Life Video of Captive IDF Field Observer Released to Public

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Daniella Gilboa’s family received the clip four months ago, but only gave the go-ahead to release it to the general public on Tuesday.

By: David Isaac

A video of kidnapped Israel Defense Forces field observer Daniella Gilboa, who is still being held hostage by Hamas, was released to the public on Tuesday with the family’s consent.

In what Hamas filmed for propaganda purposes, Gilboa is heard blaming the Israeli government for her continued confinement. (The video is available for viewing in certain locations.)

“I’m under constant bombardment and gunfire around the clock, and I’m terrified for my life,” she said in the clip. “Why should I feel like I’ve been abandoned and forgotten? Pull yourselves together, dear government, and start doing your job properly. Bring us home alive.”

Daniel Gilboa, now 20, was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7 , 2023. Credit: Courtesy.

Gilboa, who hails from the central Israeli city of Petach Tikvah, concluded by addressing her family: “I miss you terribly and love you—Mom, Dad, Nuni and Ro’iko. Please stay strong and do everything in your power to bring me home while I’m still alive.”

Her family received the proof-of-life video four months ago but originally withheld it from the public to prevent its being used to help Hamas.

Her mother, Orly, in commenting on the video, said that though her daughter looks “assertive and determined,” she’s “saying those things as a game. I recognize this ability of hers—to know how to play with the things she was told to say.”

Her mother added that psychology experts compared the video to others that she had sent them, and they concluded that Daniella was in a difficult mental state.

Gilboa, then 19 (she turned 20 in captivity), was abducted from the IDF’s Nahal Oz base on the Gaza border on Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists invaded southern Israel, slaughtering 1,200 mostly civilians, and kidnapping another 251 to the Strip.

Israel estimates that 120 people, both living and dead, are still in Hamas captivity.

In the early morning of Oct. 7, when Hamas rockets started to fall, Orly tried to make contact. She told an interviewer that she didn’t immediately grasp the full import of what was happening and she sensed her daughter becoming exasperated with her in their text chat.

Her daughter’s last text to her mother, at 7:30 a.m., read: “Pray for me.”

Daniella’s family first understood she was kidnapped when they identified her in one of the video clips that emerged during that day.

They spotted her lying in a jeep heading into Gaza, identifying her by a little ponytail at the back of her head and a black pajama shirt, which they knew she was wearing at the time from earlier pictures she had sent to her boyfriend.

Daniella Gilboa’s image (r) from the first hours of the Hamas attack was published by The Daily Mail. Credit: Courtesy.

On Jan. 7, The Daily Mail released an image of Daniella, along with three other female IDF observers taken to Gaza: Liri Albag, Karina Ariev and Agam Berger.

A three-minute video of the captured IDF field observers, which included Daniella, was released on May 22 by a hostage family group.

Also this week, former hostage Andrey Kozlov, 27, one of four hostages rescued in the daring IDF operation on June 8, gave a series of interviews to Hebrew media.

Kozlov, who moved from Russia to Israel 18 months ago, gave his interviews in English. He was captured at the Nova music festival and held for eight months.

Kozlov described the constant dread that he might be killed at any moment. “Maybe in one minute, maybe in one hour,” he told Channel 13, adding that the terrorists always had a big knife handy.

He said he had experienced “terrible feelings” every day in captivity, which have left him emotionally spent. “My source of feelings is empty. Now, I understand everything in my mind, but a lot of things I don’t feel here,” he said, pointing to his heart.

“I had only one goal—that I need to survive and to come back home,” he said.


‘They are still there in Gaza’

In an interview with Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot, Kozlov said: “The terrorists kept telling us that Israel wants us to die, wants to get rid of us, ‘and if Israel doesn’t kill you, we will kill you the second they come to rescue you.’ They didn’t even notice that there was a dissonance here. Because if Israel wants us to die, why would they come to rescue us?”

After his rescue, when IDF soldiers asked him if he wanted to talk to his parents, Kozlov said, “When they asked me if I wanted to talk by phone with Mom and Dad, that was the limit for me. I cried to her, ‘Mama! I was saved twice from death.’” He meant both from the massacre at the music festival and from his captivity.

Kozlov was rescued together with fellow hostages Almog Meir Jan, 21, and Shlomi Ziv, 40. Noa Argamani, 26, was also rescued from a separate building nearby.

His father, Mikhail, told the Associated Press, “He is the same as he was eight months ago. And we saw this with delight because we were very afraid that we would see someone else. But this is the same person, and he talks about everything with optimism.”

Andrey Kozlov. Source: Screenshot.

Since his release, Kozlov has spoken out for the remaining hostages. In a video message to hostages’ families and their supporters broadcast at a June 15 demonstration on behalf of the captives, he said: “You invested so much time and energy to bring us home, and that’s one of the things that gave me hope. You are heroes. More than 120 abductees are still there, and I can’t feel all the happiness from this situation because I was rescued and they are not. They are still there in Gaza.”

He called for Hamas and Israel to make a deal as soon as possible.


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