Tel Aviv [Israel], November 14: The families of Israelis being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip have started a protest march in Tel Aviv for their release, along with their supporters.
The kin of hostages will be walking to Jerusalem in the upcoming days and will converge on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office to demand the freedom of their loved ones.
Shelly Shem-Tov, mother of a hostage Omer, made an impassioned plea for the release of his son, who was abducted from the music festival on October 7.
“I don’t know if you can imagine what it’s like for me, as a mother, to be unable to do anything for my son. We’re losing people,” she said, mentioning the Marciano family, who were told today that their daughter, a soldier, had died in captivity.
Furthermore, she said, “Where are you?”, further requesting the PM, “I demand that Benjamin Netanyahu and the cabinet give us answers and take action. We have no strength left.”
Yuval Haran of Kibbutz Be’eri, seven of whose family members are being held hostages in Gaza, “We are running out of time. I call on all of the people of Israel, the mayors, the Knesset members and the youth groups, to march alongside us; to demand an answer from the decision makers why our families are still in Gaza.”
The announcement of the protest march comes after Israel and Hamas reportedly negotiating a deal to release dozens of women and children held by the Hamas terror group, The Times of Israel reported.
According to the hostage release proposals, one involves a small number of people to be released, and the other involves the release of 100 or more civilians held in Gaza, according to the officials, The New York Times reported.
The Hamas terror group has over 240 hostages captivated in Gaza, according to Israeli officials, adding that a little less than half of them are civilians, and the larger deal negotiated would involve the release of all of those civilians.
According to the first proposal, Hamas would have to release 10 to 20 civilian hostages, including Israeli women and children as well as foreigners, including Americans, and in exchange, Israel would put a brief pause in hostilities, according to one of the officials. It would be followed by a larger release of about 100 civilians if both of them agreed.
Although Hamas has refused to release any of the military-age Israeli men held in Gaza, the officials said.
Additionally, in exchange for releasing all civilians, Hamas is asking for a brief pause, along with more humanitarian aid, fuel for hospitals and the release of women and children in Israeli prisons, the official added.