Israeli families of Gaza hostages accuse government of abandoning their loved ones

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

Families of Israeli captives in Gaza hold a press conference in Tel Aviv on October 14, 2023. (Screenshot)
Families of Israeli captives in Gaza hold a press conference in Tel Aviv on October 14, 2023. (Screenshot)

The spokesman of the families of missing Israelis feared held captive in Gaza slams the government for abandoning the hostages after it says it will not take engage in negotiations.

Ronen Tzur, head of The Families Headquarters, says at a press conference in Tel Aviv that if Israel will not negotiate with enemies who want to destroy Israel — according to the statement made earlier by National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi — then the government is, in effect, abandoning the captives.

Tzur says the families are awaiting a clarification of Hanegbi’s statement.

“We’re waiting for clarity from the government,” says Tzur.

Speakers at the press conference, including Dr. Hagai Levine and diplomat Eviatar Manor, demand a response from the government and the Red Cross within the next few hours. Both Levine and Manor emphasize the need to offer immediate medical attention to the captives.

“It’s essential that it’s done now, tonight, immediately,” says Manor.

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari says the military has so far notified the families of 126 hostages that their loved ones are being held in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad claim to be holding 130 hostages in the Gaza Strip, with some reports estimating the number as at least 200.

Hamas has also said that any prisoner swap negotiations will only take place after the end of the fighting.



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