The families of the hostages redouble the pressure on Netanyahu with a march to Jerusalem: “The Government does not even look at us in the face” | International

The families of the hostages redouble the pressure on Netanyahu
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A march on foot by the relatives of the approximately 240 hostages in Gaza, to which thousands of Israelis joined, managed this Saturday to extract from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the promise that there will be an agreement to free them. Hours earlier, a crowd that organizers estimated at 25,000 people arrived before Parliament and the headquarters of the Government after traveling on foot in five days the 66 kilometers that separate Tel Aviv from Jerusalem. At the heart of Israel's political power, protesters chanted the slogan that has become the mantra of loved ones of those kidnapped and a thinly veiled rebuke to the Israeli War Cabinet, which they accuse of having abandoned them: “Bring them to home now". Shortly after, Netanyahu committed to closing a deal to free the hostages, mainly held by Hamas and Islamic Jihad. “I have seen the march to Jerusalem. We march with you. I march with you,” he stated in a press conference.

The last time the head of the Israeli Government met with the relatives of Hamas captives was on October 21. Also on that occasion, he relented and received a group of close friends, only after another protest that brought together about 250 people in Tel Aviv, the same day that the largest wave of bombings in Gaza had occurred until then. After that meeting, Netanyahu said he was “heartbroken” and committed to the families “to exhaust every avenue to return their loved ones home.”

Almost a month later, that promise still hasn't come to fruition. Only four women have been released and the families of the rest of the kidnapped people called the march to redouble the pressure on Netanyahu. “What we reproach the Government for is that it does not look us in the face, that it does not listen to us and that no one tells us what they are going to do to free our relatives,” he said this Saturday, after the march arrived. next to the Jerusalem Parliament, Adriana Adar, 64 years old.

Like other relatives, Adar maintained that this march was “apolitical”, but then criticized that Netanyahu had refused to receive the families and that only two ministers, Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, had agreed to meet with them until then. Both, furthermore, were in the opposition until they decided to join the concentration Cabinet created expressly for the war. The conservative Likud, the prime minister's party and main coalition partner, "had not even responded" to the request for a meeting, the woman claimed at the time. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the movement in defense of the families accused the Executive, through the speakers of a van, of “mistreating” the loved ones of the hostages.

Posters with photos of those kidnapped by Hamas in the families' protest march, this Saturday. Alvaro Garcia

Adar is the daughter-in-law of Yafa Adar, the 85-year-old woman who appeared in a Hamas photo with a resigned expression while the fundamentalists transported her, after kidnapping her from Kibbutz Nir Oz, in an open stroller like those used in the camps. golf. One of her grandchildren, Tamir Adar, 38, was also kidnapped. “[El siete de octubre] They abandoned us. Our relatives spent eight hours holding the door of the house so that the terrorists would not enter, escaping the fires and trying to flee. In a community of 400 people, 300 terrorists entered, and when the first soldier arrived they had had time to kill, burn, steal and kidnap. And they haven't even asked for forgiveness."

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“We are not interested in how they are going to solve it, that is why we elected them. What we want is for them to be brought home. Let them do what is necessary; Let them speak with Hamas, with Qatar, with the United States, with Spain or with Germany. We want them to come back and for everyone to come back. It is not worth it that they only release the women and children, what will happen to the men and young people then? My mother-in-law is 85 years old and she doesn't have time,” Adar stated.

“Innocents” in Gaza

Among the crowd that this Saturday advanced along national highway 1 that connects Tel Aviv with Jerusalem, before reaching the neighborhood that houses Parliament and the main national institutions, a man wore a t-shirt with the image of Yehudit Weiss, 65, the hostage whose body was found Thursday by Israeli soldiers in Gaza. Of the approximately 240 kidnapped, the bodies of only three have been recovered, including Weiss. Videos released by the Palestinian fundamentalist movement have shown what appear to be the bodies of other hostages. One is that of Maayun Kaplun's stepmother.

The face of Kaplun, 41, is a painful copy of that of his father, Dror Kaplun, who smiled in the photo of the banner that the woman was holding up this Saturday. Kaplun discovered that his 68-year-old father had been kidnapped by Hamas along with his wife from Kibbutz Beeri, three kilometers from Gaza, in a video on Telegram. As Yafa Adar's daughter-in-law, this woman does not criticize the Israeli bombings of Gaza, and asks that "all the innocents, the children who are there," be rescued, in reference to the thirty Israeli minors kidnapped in the Strip, not to the Gazans.

The bombings also put the lives of the kidnapped at risk, admits Adriana Adar, but, even so, she repeats the official Israeli speech that assures that its military "is doing everything possible to remove innocent people from the [norte de] Gaza and bringing incubators to hospitals.”

Balloons with slogan "bring them home" in the march of the hostages' families in Jerusalem.
Balloons with the slogan "Bring them home" at the march of the hostages' relatives, in Jerusalem. Alvaro Garcia

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