Families of hostages meet to launch campaign

Hundreds of people are meeting in an underground room as an organization formed to represent families of the 150 to 200 kidnapped or missing Israelis presents their plight, laying out plans to secure the release of their loved ones.

Gal Hirsch, the government’s point man on the issue, says he ran over to the event at a museum in Tel Aviv after hearing about it, promising to be there for the families, to tepid applause.

Shimshon Leibman, who was on the team that secured the release of soldier Gilad Shalit, says a massive public campaign will be launched emphasizing how they are all part of the same family.

“We will be with the country if needed, and we’ll be against them if needed,” he says.

“We may need to speak with the devil” to free the hostages,” he says to applause. “That’s what we’re here for and that’s what will be done.”

“The country is obligated to bring them home,” he adds.

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