Gaza hostage’s daughter: ‘We will fight until everyone returns, the living and the murdered’

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

An aerial view shows relatives and supporters of Israeli hostages held by terrorists in Gaza since October 7, marching to Jerusalem calling for their release, on February 28, 2024 in Reim (Jack GUEZ/AFP)
An aerial view shows relatives and supporters of Israeli hostages held by terrorists in Gaza since October 7, marching to Jerusalem calling for their release, on February 28, 2024 in Reim (Jack GUEZ/AFP)

As the families of the hostages walk on the first day of the four-day march to Jerusalem from Kibbutz Re’im, the site where dozens of Nova partygoers were slaughtered and taken hostage by Hamas terrorists on October 7, they stop at the Sa’ad junction on their way to Sderot.

Raz Matalon, married to Osnat Sharabi, sister of hostage Eli Sharabi and of Yossi Sharabi who was killed in captivity, likely as the result of an IDF strike, talks about the pain of being so close to Kibbutz Be’eri, where the two brothers and their families lived.

On October 7, Eli Sharabi’s wife and two daughters were killed and he was taken captive, while his brother, Yossi, was taken hostage separately.

“At the end of the road, we meet neither Eli nor Yossi nor Eli’s family who were all murdered, and we look at the landscape so familiar to us,” says Matalon. “The eucalyptus trees, the spring that starts to bloom and the anemones, and we remember the days that the entire family spent here, days of picnics, days of joy, days of love for nature and for each other… days when we wouldn’t wake up sad every morning.”

Raz Matalon, brother-in-law of hostage Eli Sharabi, speaks on February 28, 2024, during four-day march from south to Jerusalem (Screen grab)

Yuli Ben Ami, daughter of released hostage Raz Ben Ami and current hostage Ohad Ben Ami, thanks the marchers, the security forces and the staff of the Hostages and Missing Families Forum who organized the event.

Her mother returned after 54 days, says Ben Ami, “sore and exhausted… My father is strong and we will fight until he returns to us, until everyone returns, the living and the murdered.”

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