After meeting PM, families of captives call for exchanging Palestinian prisoners for hostages

Representatives for families of captives held by Hamas in Gaza call to free all Palestinian prisoners in Israel in exchange for the release of their loved ones, after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Bring back everyone now,” Meirav Leshem-Gonen, whose 23-year-old daughter Romi was kidnapped on October 7, says during a press event in Tel Aviv.

Leshem-Gonen says they implored Netanyahu not to launch military operations that could endanger their loved ones, while asserting there would be broad national support for an exchange deal of “everyone for everyone.”

Representatives of families whose loved ones are held hostage in Gaza speak in Tel Aviv after a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, October 28, 2023. (Channel 12 screenshot, used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

“We were very loud and clear in our statements about the situation,” says Malki Shemtov, the father of hostage Omer Shemtov. “We were speaking about what we feel and the military operation that’s underway. We are very worried about our loved ones who are there and we don’t know if the military operation will take those hostages under consideration, [to make sure] that no one will be injured.”

Shemtov says the families stressed they are all unified in their position that they feel there should be no limits on what the government will do to get all captives back home safely.

“The prime minister was listening to us,” says Shemtov, “and he said he will do everything he can.”

As Shemtov finishes mentioning the prime minister by name, the crowd erupts into jeers and shouts.

At least 20 demonstrations to show support for the families are being held around the country this evening.

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