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Israeli grandfather plans to spoil his grandkids, released by Hamas, with toys, candy

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Hamas has released 58 hostages so far. Family members of Shmuel Brodutch are among them. His daughter-in-law and her three children were taken by Hamas on October 7, and they were released Sunday. And Shmuel Brodutch is on the line with us this morning. Mr. Brodutch, what does one even say at a time like this? I mean, I don't - congratulations? I'm happy for you? How are you?

SHMUEL BRODUTCH: I am fine. The family is here. I hope they will be well. That's it.

MARTIN: Have you had any contact with your daughter-in-law and your grandchildren since their release? How are they?

BRODUTCH: I was thinking about them. They're OK.

MARTIN: Do you have any sense of what they experienced? Did they eat? Were they able to rest at any point?

BRODUTCH: I can't talk too much about their conditions, but they came back. They are well. That's what I can tell you.

MARTIN: Can you tell us anything about where they were held? Do they have any sense of this?

BRODUTCH: No. No.

MARTIN: No.

BRODUTCH: Not at all.

MARTIN: How did the release take place?

BRODUTCH: I can't talk about it. I just want to take the time - happy about their being here. I'm happy to hold them and to kiss them and to spoil them, and that's it.

MARTIN: Well, how did you manage during all this time? Tell me about yourself. This must have been horrible. We can't even imagine.

BRODUTCH: I fought against the government to make them - to make this deal. I was fighting for this deal, and I will fight again for any other deal and until the last prisoner will come back...

MARTIN: Do you...

BRODUTCH: ...Captive will come back.

MARTIN: Do you have any other relatives? I know that mostly women and children have been released. And do you have any other family members.

BRODUTCH: I don't have any more relatives there. No.

MARTIN: How have your friends and relatives been greeting you? I'm just interested in how you've kept your spirits up during this time.

BRODUTCH: They hold my hand, and they were around me, so they helped me to keep up.

MARTIN: What was most helpful to you during this time?

BRODUTCH: The hope.

MARTIN: Hope?

BRODUTCH: Yes.

MARTIN: I think many people - you have the best wishes of so many people right now. Many people have been keeping you and all of those affected by this in their hearts. And may I ask, is there anything that is not helpful during this time?

BRODUTCH: It wasn't helpful to hear about war, so - I wanted the results to be concentrate on the release of the prisoners. That's it.

MARTIN: What else are you hoping for in the coming days? What do you hope will happen next?

BRODUTCH: That many people will be released again and again and again and again until there will be no more prisoners in Gaza. That's my wish.

MARTIN: Do you have any words for those who are negotiating and continue to negotiate as this...

BRODUTCH: Yes. Take it...

MARTIN: ...Whole situation continues?

BRODUTCH: Take it as the main - I'm talking to the government. Take it as the main thing to do. It should be among the government purposes. The only one - the only purpose should be against the - for the government now is to release everybody. That's it.

MARTIN: The priority is the release of the hostages. Is that what I'm hearing you saying?

BRODUTCH: Yes, priority - sorry for my English. Yes. The first priority should - the first and only priority should be to release all the prisoners. That's it.

MARTIN: Before we let you go, how are you going to spoil your grandchildren?

BRODUTCH: I'm going - when they be released from the hospital, I'm going to take them for a shopping day, and they will buy - and I'll buy them all the world - all it.

MARTIN: Everything - all the toys.

BRODUTCH: Yes.

MARTIN: Any sweets?

BRODUTCH: Yes.

MARTIN: Any special things that they particularly like?

BRODUTCH: Yes, of course. They like Kinder - you know what is Kinder?

MARTIN: A Kindle? Oh.

BRODUTCH: Kinder.

MARTIN: Kinder. Oh, chocolate. Yes. Kinder. The chocolate...

BRODUTCH: Yes, yes.

MARTIN: ...With the toys there.

BRODUTCH: Yes, yes, yes.

MARTIN: OK. Oh, yeah. Those are a favorite for everybody.

BRODUTCH: Yes.

MARTIN: Well, Mr. Brodutch, my very best wishes to you and your family. I do thank you for speaking with us at such a delicate time, and our best wishes for you. It will be a joyous holiday season, I'm sure.

BRODUTCH: Thank you very much.

MARTIN: That is Shmuel Brodutch. His daughter-in-law and his three grandchildren were released by Hamas yesterday. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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