9:51 p.m. ET, November 11, 2023

‘Take them home now,’ families of hostages tell Israeli government

By Tamar Michaelis

People hold posters during a protest calling for the release of Israeli hostages in Tel Aviv, Israel, November 11.

Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

Families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza have called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government to do more to bring hostages and missing people home.

“We are waiting for the Israeli government to honor the basic contract that was broken. We already paid the price on October 7, now it is your turn,” reads a press release from the headquarters of the Hostages’ Families Forum and missing people.

The families of the hostages held a rally on Saturday in Tel Aviv, Israel, which was also attended by former Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

More than 200 hostages were taken to Gaza following the Hamas attack on October 7.

The families demand that the international community and the Red Cross provide medical assistance to the hostages, “as they do for Hamas”, the statement said.

“Our family members are imprisoned underground in Gaza. Bring them home now,” the statement said.

“Two hundred and thirty-nine innocent people fell asleep on the night of October 6 and in less than 24 hours we lost all contact with them, without the slightest information. Where is the Red Cross, the organization that is supposed to “take care of the victims? Why didn’t they demand to see the condition of the children,” said Maayan Zin, mother of Dafna (15) and Ella (8), who were kidnapped from Kibbutz Nahal Oz in Israel with their father.

People take part in a demonstration demanding the release of hostages in Tel Aviv on November 11.

Ilan Rosenberg/Reuters

Noam Perry, whose 79-year-old father Haim Perry was taken from his home on Kibbutz Nir Oz in Israel, said there could be no healing until all the hostages were freed.

“The living hostages can still be returned and we must not stop until they return home. My father is alive and God only knows how he endures underground tunnels at 80 years old. They are waiting for us to save them. We expect the Prime Minister to fulfill the most fundamental contract he made with the citizens of Israel and which has been violated,” Perry said.

Rivlin said he joined families in demanding the return of all hostages home, and urged world leaders to obtain information and act across the board to free the hostages.

The former president said he also contacted the Red Cross this week and asked: “How should we respond to your request to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza when you are not forcing Hamas to allow access to all the hostages?

Orly Gilboa, mother of Daniela Gilboa, 19, who was kidnapped at a party in Re’im, Israel, said: “I have completed the stage of hugs and empathy. I want to see action that will bring my daughter and the rest of the hostages home now.

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