Group of hostages’ relatives demand end of war in exchange for hostage deal

Relatives of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza say the only way to bring their loved ones home is by ending the ongoing war, in a press conference in Tel Aviv.

“The conditions for a deal have not changed, the only way to return the hostages is by ending the war,” says Einav Zangauker, whose son Matan is held hostage, and demands the government to reach a deal to return the captives.

Omri Lifshitz, whose son Oded is a hostage, said that the families of captives are living an “ongoing nightmare.”

“There are hostages alive in Gaza, we want to bring them back home alive. All of us, with the exception of some cold-hearted ministers, watched the horrific video of the abduction of observation soldiers,” he says, saying no parent should have to witness such scenes.

“The government of Israel abandoned them on October 7 and is continuing to abandon them now,” he says.

Ayala Metzger, whose father-in-law Yoram was taken captive, stresses that security officials, including IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, say in closed-door meetings that returning the hostages must be a priority over the efforts to eliminate Hamas.

Yifat Calderon, whose cousin Ofer is held by Hamas, accuses Netanyahu of preventing a deal and calls on other ministers in the cabinet to pressure the prime minister to reach an agreement.

“Because of Netanyahu our sisters and daughters are being raped in Gaza. Because of Netanyahu our parents, brothers, and sons are exposed to torture, hunger, and death,” she says.

Or Gat, whose brother Carmel is held hostage, highlights public demand for an agreement, and warns ministers that “history will judge every one of you.”

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