The American family of Israeli hostage Amiram Cooper, 85, is warning that he has been denied essential medication, abandoned by the Red Cross, and starved by Hamas — and that it may soon be too late to save him without urgent diplomatic intervention.
Cooper, a poet, composer, and economist, was one of the founders of Kibbutz Nir Oz, a collective farming community near the Gaza Strip.
Breitbart News visited Nir Oz in November. It was one of the hardest-hit Israeli communities in the terror attack of October 7. One quarter of its residents were either murdered or kidnapped; many homes were looted by Palestinians, and destroyed.
Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News
Cooper appeared (at left) in a recent hostage video released by Hamas, one of several in which Israeli hostages have been forced to speak on camera and to appeal to the Israeli government to make concessions.
Hamas released another hostage video tonight. The man in the middle is 79-year-old Chaim Peri.
The Nir Oz resident spent his free time driving Palestinian children to hospitals for treatment and making art to protest violence against Palestinians. He is a peace activist. pic.twitter.com/NiSGGGCuQ9
— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) December 18, 2023
Hamas refuses to negotiate on another hostage release until Israel permanently stops its war effort in the Gaza Strip, which the Israeli government says it will not do.
Dahlia Cooper, who is Amiram’s daughter-in-law and lives in San Diego, California, released the following statement Tuesday:
One out of four residents of Kibbutz Nir Oz was either murdered or abducted. In the recent video released by Hamas, three elderly members of the kibbutz were filmed. They were emaciated, sick, weak and extremely pale from being kept in the dark.
One of the hostages shown in the film is Amiram Cooper, who turned 85 years old in captivity. He is one of the oldest hostages. He has not received any of his medication which he needs to survive. My husband Rotem provided medication to the Red Cross for Amiram and other hostages. The Red Cross refused to transfer it to them.
In the video Amiram’s lips were blue, a sign of lack of oxygen from being kept in 20ft underground tunnels. The terrorists took his glasses and Amiram is completely blind without them. He is so thin and we barely recognized him.
He is an economist and a poet. He was one of the founders of Nir Oz and has lived there for over 60 years. He published several poetry books and wrote musicals as well.
Our family is extremely worried about Amiram and all other hostages’ health and conditions after 82 days in captivity. They are living in horrific conditions and we need to get them out immediately. Time is running out!
Israeli leaders believe that military pressure on Hamas will prod it to ease its demands and release hostages to save its leaders.
Several families of Israeli hostages are suing the Red Cross for failing to press Hamas for the right to visit Israeli hostages. At least 120 Israelis, including several elderly men and nearly 20 women, are still thought to be imprisoned by Hamas in Gaza.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.