Photo by IDF Spokesperson on 6 May, 2024

18-Year-Old Former Hostage Enlists in Israeli Army

Public By Pesach Benson • 6 May, 2024

Jerusalem, 6 May, 2024 (TPS) -- Former Gaza hostage Noga Weiss was inducted into the Israel Defense Forces as she and hundreds of other new soldiers showed up at a recruitment center in Ramat Gan on Monday.

The 18-year-old Weiss, along with her mother, Shiri, were kidnapped by Hamas from Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7 and released on November 25 during a temporary ceasefire after spending 50 days in captivity.

Weiss will serve as a mashakit tash, a noncommissioned officer who looks after the social welfare of soldiers.

“After a very turbulent period, I feel that enlisting in the army to the position of a mashakit tash is the right thing for me. Mashakit tash has been my dream position for years. I feel that I can contribute a lot, be significant and help others,” Weiss said in a statement released by the Israel Defense Forces.

“I always wanted to enlist and dedicate myself to the country. The army for me is a combination of a distraction from what happened, a framework and a daily routine, but mainly carrying on with my life as it would have been even before all this happened,” Weiss noted.

“I remember that the day my mother and I were released, they took us to Kerem Shalom, and there was a hangar full of soldiers. The presence of the soldiers made me feel safe and it only strengthened my desire to be a part of and serve in the army,” she recalled.

Her father, Ilan, was killed on October 7, last seen leaving his home to join up with the kibbutz’s emergency response team.

In April, Weiss told Israeli media that her captor gave her a ring and insisted they would live together in Gaza and have children after the other hostages returned home.

“I pretended to laugh so he wouldn’t shoot me in the head,” she recalled.

At least 1,200 people were killed and 240 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage in Hamas’s attacks on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on October 7. Around 30 of the remaining 133 hostages are believed dead.