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Ori Megidish

19

Ori lives in Kiryat Gat with her parents and brother. Ori, true to her name (Hebrew for ‘my light’), is a beacon of light: always smiling, modest and kind-hearted. She regularly volunteers with children with special needs.
Ori served as a surveillance soldier at the Nahal Oz post. On Saturday October 7 she was captured by Hamas terrorists when the group launched an unprecedented attack on Israel. Ori was held hostage by herself in an apartment located at the "Shati" refugee camp, near Shifa Hospital in Gaza. The IDF's strategic ground operation into Gaza facilitated her successful rescue 23 days later, once a crucial opportunity emerged. The words "She's in our hands, healthy and communicating" were heard over the communication device, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
The confirmation of Ori's rescue was a moment of immense relief for an entire nation. IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari praised Ori as an exemplary hero, emphasizing her resilience as a source of inspiration. Ori's only request was that the IDF and Shin Bet (General Security Services) would intensively work to secure the release of all hostages.
Her liberation on October 30th was the culmination of an intricate Shin Bet and IDF operation, meticulously planned based on detailed intelligence about her solitary confinement in Gaza. The operation was conducted in complete secrecy. Nevertheless, news of her successful rescue quickly spread to a close-knit group, prompting the decision to make it public immediately.
Tragically, many of Ori's friends did not survive the murderous attack that fateful day. In total, 66 soldiers were killed in Hamas’s assault on the Nahal Oz base, and a number were taken hostage. Ori shares that despite experiencing profound pain and fear in captivity, she maintained her hope and belief in being rescued.


She is currently advocating for Israel to exhaust all means to return every kidnapped individual.
Post-rescue, Ori rejoined the IDF Intelligence Corps, motivated by a deep sense of duty and personal commitment to contribute to her country's security.
President Isaac Herzog commended Ori for her resilience and positive impact upon her return, highlighting how her story brought light to Israel during a dark period. "Your return excited the entire nation, embedding you in our national consciousness," he said. He admired Ori's story as a testament to hope and bravery, expressing gratitude for her rescue from such harsh captivity.

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