Father of hostage Liri Albag to Smotrich: Let them kidnap your children and then you can talk

Eli Albag, father of hostage Liri Albag, speaks to protesters outside military headquarters in Tel Aviv, soon after Finance Minster Bezalel Smotrich said returning the hostages was 'not the most important thing'. February 20, 2024. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Eli Albag, father of hostage Liri Albag, speaks to protesters outside military headquarters in Tel Aviv, soon after Finance Minster Bezalel Smotrich said returning the hostages was 'not the most important thing'. February 20, 2024. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The father of 18-year-old Liri Albag, who was taken captive by Hamas on October 7, decries Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich for suggesting that the efforts to return the hostages to Israel are less important than destroying Hamas.

“Let them kidnap your children!” Eli Albag declares at a protest outside the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv against the government’s decision not to send an Israeli delegation to the hostage talks in Cairo. “Let them kidnap your children and I will shout in the street, ‘It’s not the most important thing!'”

“I’m talking to all citizens of Israel — whoever thinks that the citizens, the hostages are unimportant, let them kidnap your children and then you can speak!” he continues.

“We have suffered for 137 days, day after day, minute by minute, we don’t sleep at night,” he adds of his family and the families of the 134 other hostages held by Hamas, not all of them alive.

Calling for people to take to the streets in protest, Albag says his daughter was attacked while protecting the State of Israel, but that the State did not protect her in return.

“It will not protect you,” Albag declares to the crowd of protesters. “They are abandoning us above. They are laughing at us, dragging their feet, they are not going to negotiate. I say to you citizens, take to the streets because today it is us and tomorrow it will be you.”

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