Released hostage calls for others to join her at anti-government protests

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

From a pedestrian bridge overlooking the Defense Ministry’s Kirya headquarters, Ilana Gritzewsky, who was released from Hamas captivity in November, calls on other released hostages to protest against the government.

“I want to call on other hostages who have returned: Join us on the street! Come demonstrate with us,” Gritzewsky, whose partner Matan Zangauker is still presumed to be held hostage, tells thousands of listeners at the weekly anti-government rally in Tel Aviv.

“I feel betrayed by this government,” Gritzewsky, who was abducted with Zangauker from Kibbutz Nir Oz on October 7, adds, saying no cabinet minister had called her to ask how she was doing.

Yifat Calderon, a cousin of hostage Ofer Calderon, criticizes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the rally, where tens of thousands gather to call for elections.

“This prime minister, who for the past eight months has asked us not to be partisan during wartime, has engaged in the pettiest partisanship imaginable, blaming the military, hostages’ families as he runs a failing war effort with vague targets, his country burns as he sits on the throne.”

In parallel to the anti-government rally on Kaplan Street, relatives of hostages gather at the nearby Hostages Square to call for the government to agree to a deal with Hamas for the return of the hostages.

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