Families of the Israelis held captive by Hamas since Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7 called on the government to ‘use every opportunity’ to release them, warning that their “patience ran out.”
Just before the public news conference of the captives’ families began in Tel Aviv on Thursday, rocket warning sirens sounded in occupied city and environs, and those attending it had to evacuate to a protected area.
“20 days have passed. 20 days. 20 days we have no idea how they are doing or how they are being treated, if they are okay, if they are breathing, where they even breathe. 20 days that ask us to be patient. 20 days, can you imagine? A mother, a father, a child, a parent who doesn’t know where his loved one is, can you even imagine? Because we live it every day, all of us. We were very patient, beyond a lot, but that’s it. Our patience has run out. Our patience has run out,” mother of an Israeli captive said.
Before the press conference, the members of the families shouted in English: “Free then now,” and “200 families don’t sleep at night!”
Another mother of an Israeli captive addressed the comments to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Bibi, now is the time to make a deal and return all the hostages to Israel. I am begging you. Try to imagine that it was your son who was kidnapped to Gaza. Bring Almog (her son) home. Now!”
For its part, Hamas Palestinian resistance group said it could not release the Israeli captives it is holding until a ceasefire is agreed in the continuing conflict, according to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper.
The newspaper quoted an official called Abu Hamid as saying on Friday that the group needed time to locate all of those who had been taken to Gaza by various Palestinian factions during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7.
Israeli bombing of Gaza has killed 50 of the captives, Abu Hamid said.