‘Unity march’ swells to 15,000 people as it approaches Jerusalem

Daniel Neutra (center), brother of kidnapped lone soldier Omer Neutra, speaking at the front of the hostage families' march to Jerusalem, on March 2, 2024. (Charlie Summers/Times of Israel)
Daniel Neutra (center), brother of kidnapped lone soldier Omer Neutra, speaking at the front of the hostage families' march to Jerusalem, on March 2, 2024. (Charlie Summers/Times of Israel)

The “unity march” for the return of hostages has grown to some 15,000 people as it nears its final destination of Jerusalem, according to organizers.

The hostage families leading the procession are speaking to the massive crowd through loudspeakers hooked up to a van at the rally’s fore.

Each relative is choosing a song to dedicate to their missing loved one, providing a wistful soundtrack for the thousands of demonstrators along the highway to Jerusalem.

Daniel, the brother of kidnapped American lone soldier Omer Neutra, requests Etta James’ song “At Last,” symbolizing for him the “day when everyone has returned home.”

“It feels normal to not see him for so long, with me living in New York and him living here. Each time he returned home, I received him with happiness,” says Neutra.

“You sent these soldiers, you are responsible for returning them,” says a friend of Omer’s to the Israeli government. “You have the ability, you need to come to a comprehensive agreement which will include all the hostages.”

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