Government used residents of the south as ‘human shields,’ mother of Oct. 7 victim Tamir Adar charges

Demonstrators at Jerusalem rally hold signs with names and faces of Hamas-held hostages on February 24, 2024. (Charlie Summers/Times of Israel)
Demonstrators at Jerusalem rally hold signs with names and faces of Hamas-held hostages on February 24, 2024. (Charlie Summers/Times of Israel)

Speakers at this week’s Jerusalem hostage demonstration are increasing pressure on the Israeli government as negotiations with Hamas seem to be nearing a breakthrough.

Yael Adar, the mother of Nir Oz resident Tamir Adar, who was murdered by Hamas on October 7, accuses the Israeli government of using the Gaza envelope residents as “human shields.”

“We believed that you [those in government] were protecting us, but you turned all of us into a human shield,” she says. “While they built tunnels, you hoped that all would be well and you told us that we were protected, but you abandoned us.”

“You started this war for the hostages, so why are you not willing to stop it to return them home?” she continues.

Mai Alvini, the grandson of 79-year-old Hamas hostage Haim Peri, accuses Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich of abandoning the hostages and “blaming the families of hostages.”

“I’m sorry they kidnapped my grandfather,” he says bitterly. “I didn’t mean it, it won’t happen again.”

Mai Alvini, the grandson of Hamas-held hostage Haim Peri, speaks to Jerusalem rally for the hostages on February 24, 2024. (Charlie Summers/Times of Israel)

He charges Smotrich with prioritizing the construction of “thousands of new housing units in Maale Adumim, Efrat and Kedar before reestablishing the kibbutzim of the Gaza envelope.”

Devorah Leshem, the grandmother of 23-year-old Romi Gonen who was kidnapped from the Supernova rave, is appealing to Netanyahu in her speech, calling for the return of the hostages after 141 days of Hamas captivity.

“My granddaughter planned to travel the world for four years, she didn’t plan to travel in Gaza,” she says.

Organizers recite the names of the 134 hostages who remain in Hamas captivity, vowing not to abandon them.

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