Police deny hostage mother’s claim that they refused to approve route for hostage deal march

Families of the Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza march along with hundreds of supporters towards the Knesset in Jerusalem, as part of a protest calling for the immediate release of the hostages, near Jerusalem, November 17, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Families of the Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza march along with hundreds of supporters towards the Knesset in Jerusalem, as part of a protest calling for the immediate release of the hostages, near Jerusalem, November 17, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Following accusations that the Israel Police had not approved the route of a three-day march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem calling for a deal to free the hostages, the police say in a statement that this is not the case and that they are working to ensure that it can go ahead.

Earlier today, Einav Zangauker, whose son Matan is held hostage in Gaza, said the police had refused to approve the route, despite it being the same one used by protesters at a march before a weeklong truce and hostage deal was agreed to in November.

In response, the police say in a statement that “contrary to the reports that have been circulated in the past few hours, the Israel Police is working to allow the families of the hostages to march from Begin [Road, in Tel Aviv] to Jerusalem while ensuring the safety of the marchers and those using the road.”

According to the police, Zangauker met with Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai earlier today, who told her that while “the Israel Police will do whatever is necessary for the planned march to go ahead,” securing the route in question required “the allocation of many forces and special preparation” which would take time to set up.

The statement says that Shabtai explained the difficulties that arise in securing a large march on a busy highway and the safety issues that could arise if done improperly.

Nevertheless, “the commissioner directed all the national and district Israel Police elements to be in contact with the families of the hostages as soon as possible in order to examine the possibility that the march can take place tomorrow in a format similar to the one that previously took place,” the statement adds.

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