Kidnapped Nova festival guard revealed new details of Hamas torture, family says

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The kidnapped Nova festival security guard who was rescued in a daring Israeli raid over the weekend had been tortured by Hamas with dehydration, according to his family.

Andrey Kozlov, 27, and his fellow rescued hostages faced regular beatings by the terror group during their eight months in captivity in Gaza, but among the most grueling forms of abuse they faced was Hamas forcing them to experience dehydration, CNN reports.

“One of the examples that Andrey gave us … is that at the hottest time of the day, they would cover him with blankets,” his father, Mikhail, told the outlet.

“It is a very difficult ordeal. To be dehydrated during heat,” he said of the torture, which was allegedly one of the many ways Hamas abused the hostages without leaving physical marks behind.

Andrey Kozlov, who was among the four hostages rescued Saturday, revealed that he had been tortured with dehydration while in Gaza. REUTERS
Kozlov reunites with his family at the Sheba Medical Center. Israel Foreign Ministry/UPI/Shutterstock

Kozlov, a Russian citizen, had moved to Israel nearly two years ago and was working as a security guard at the Nova music festival on Oct. 7 when he was ambushed by Hamas gunmen and kidnapped along with Noa Argamani, 26, Almog Meir Jan, 22, and Shlomi Ziv, 41.

Details of the abuse they faced from Hamas have been sparse as the former hostages focus on their recovery, but their families have shared some details of the horrors.

Kozlov’s brother, Dmitry, said Hamas would beat his brother without any provocation and warned him not to speak in Hebrew as he tried to learn more of the language from Meir Jan to keep themselves busy and sane.

“He was told not to speak in Hebrew, you need to whisper and [even that] in English,” Dmitry told CNN.

Kozlov and Almog Meir Jan hid by a corner when the IDF arrived to rescue them. X / @Israel

The brother also claimed that Hamas was very tactical with their abuse, making sure the torture did “not leave marks.”

Along with the physical torture, Mikhail said, his son lived in constant fear as Hamas operatives kept telling him and the other hostages that “Israel wanted to kill them all” because they “were a problem.”

Mikhail said that was one of the reasons why his son appeared so afraid in a headcam video released by Israel’s elite Yamam counter-terrorism unit, which showed Kozlov cowering in a corner, putting his hands up when the commandos came to rescue him.

The mission rescued hostages (clockwise from top left) Almog Meir Jan, Noa Argamani, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv. REUTERS
Kozlov’s mother, Evgeniia Kozlova, and girlfriend Jenifer Master celebrated his release. REUTERS

“He was told that Israel wants to kill him,” Mikhail told CNN. “He didn’t understand why the IDF came.

“He was afraid that the IDF came to kill him,” he explained. “It took him some time to realize that they came to rescue him.”

Mikhail said that when his son arrived at the Sheba Medical Center following Saturday’s rescue operation, he “knelt down and burst into tears.”

Dmitry added that his brother now feels indebted to Israel for rescuing him, with Kozlov committed to doing whatever he can to help free the some 120 hostages who remain in Hamas captivity.

“He says that he doesn’t understand what he has done to deserve this generosity towards him, because he hasn’t done anything,” Dmitry said. “So he feels obliged to pass this goodness on to the next person and help get others out.”

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Kidnapped Nova festival guard revealed new details of Hamas torture, family says

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