Uncertain about their own loved ones, families rejoice in 13 other hostages’ release

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

Jimmy Miller attends a solidarity rally for the release of hostages on November 24, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)
Jimmy Miller attends a solidarity rally for the release of hostages on November 24, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Canaan Lidor/Times of Israel)

Friday has been the happiest day in a long time for the family of Shiri Bibas, a mother of two boys younger than 4 whom Hamas terrorists abducted on October 7.

Bibas remains a hostage. She is not among the 13 Israelis released from Gaza, and authorities have given her family no estimated time for her release.

Her relatives are uplifted by the release of 13 other hostages, all of them women or children. It “fills our hearts with joy that we haven’t felt since this started,” Shiri Bibas’s cousin, Jimmy Miller, tells The Times of Israel.

Shiri Bibas’s abduction is iconic. Videos of her capture show terrorists leading a terrified Bibas around in Kibbutz Nir Oz while she held her two ginger sons, Ariel and Kfir.

A total of 50 Israelis are to be freed in return for 150 Palestinian prisoners during a 4-day ceasefire that began Friday. Bibas’s family hopes that she, her sons and her husband Yarden are among the remaining 37 Israelis who are to be part of the remainder of the exchange.

Several relatives of hostages understood to be among the remaining 37 Israelis said that authorities have not yet informed them on whether their loved ones are to be released in future exchange, Channel 12 reports Friday.

Miller and several other relatives are attending a solidarity rally with the hostages at Tel Aviv’s so-called Hostage Square, opposite the Kirya army headquarters. They’re wearing T-shirts emblazoned with a drawing of the Bibas family.

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